LAPD released body camera footage that showed LAPD following on foot and eventually shooting a man who was wielding a hammer.
The incident occurred on March 19 as 45-year-old Samuel Ponce, who LAPD believed was suffering from “mental illness,” was walking down South Bonnie Brae Street with a hammer and what officers believed was an ax.
The video shows officers following Ponce for several minutes while one of the officers gave instructions to the rest of the team, from how to shoot their less-lethal weapons and where to position themselves.
Multiple attempts at shooting less-lethal weapons were made from a distance, seemingly unsuccessfully.
“You have to aim higher,” an officer can be heard saying while coaching the officers.
Several times throughout the video, Ponce could be heard crying out in Spanish, “Help me, holy father,” before more shots of less-lethal shots going out.
After surrounding Ponce, the video shows multiple attempts at shooting less-lethal weapons before one of the officers shot and killed him with his gun.
As the officers approached Ponce, an officer can be heard asking “does anyone have a shield?” but it did not appear that any of the officers had a police shield with them.
The video highlights and zooms in on Ponce attempting to throw his hammer toward police before being shot.
*Graphic content warning*
As Ponce laid on the ground dead and officers began to approach him to attempt an arrest, an officer can be heard saying, “Let me take him out. Let me take him out.”
Officers then put handcuffs on Ponce’s dead body and began to perform CPR on him.