Written by Steve Cannon for USSA News.
On January 2, 2023, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart Patrol Division officers responded to a radio call of a “Violation of Restraining Order” at an apartment building in the 200 block of South Witmer Street. When officers arrived, they located the victim, who provided a valid restraining order and told officers the suspect was inside of an apartment unit.
The officers requested additional units, a supervisor, and formulated a tactical plan. The officers met the suspect, 45-year-old Takar Smith, at the front door to the apartment unit and began a dialogue, attempting to get him to exit into the hallway and surrender. Smith refused to exit and became increasingly agitated, prompting officers to employ de-escalation tactics for an extended period.
Smith went to the kitchen and armed himself with a large knife and officers deployed two Tasers and pepper spray. The less lethal options initially caused Smith to drop the knife on the floor; however, he immediately picked up the knife, raised it above his head, and an Officer-Involved Shooting (OIS) occurred. Two officers fired their guns for a total of seven shots. Smith was pronounced deceased at scene.
This tragic incident highlights the challenges and dangers that law enforcement officers face every day. The investigation is ongoing and the LAPD will release more information as it becomes available.