Law enforcement is not releasing many details about a shooting in an alleyway in Cerritos over the weekend. News reports indicate that at least one Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy was involved in a shooting incident Sunday evening around 7:30 p.m. Authorities say a man was shot near the grounds of the ABC Unified School District and the ABC Adult School near Judy Way and Cuesta Drive.
A deputy with the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau says a man was wounded when a deputy shot him after some sort of pursuit. Officials claim the wounded man was suspected of driving under the influence. However, few details have been released concerning any of the facts surrounding the encounter. Authorities only suggest the man who was shot had been allegedly driving recklessly and is suspected of DUI.
The shooting apparently took place behind a row of townhomes in Cerritos Sunday evening. The wounded man accused of driving recklessly was taken to a hospital, where he is apparently listed in stable condition. The deputy involved in the shooting is believed to be from the Lakewood station.
Sheriff’s deputies cordoned off the area surrounding the shooting and apparently residents of the area were not allowed access to their homes until just before midnight Sunday night.
Typically, multiple investigations are opened after a police officer, or deputy, is involved in a shooting. While the sheriff’s department opens an internal investigation, other agencies also look into the matter, including the Los Angeles Office of Independent Review.
Obviously, law enforcement officials are looking into the deputy-involved shooting, and the investigation apparently continues. However, the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau did release information that a person, described only as a Hispanic man and possibly suspected of DUI, “at the end of a reckless driver pursuit,” was wounded Sunday evening. Law enforcement did not release details about what may have raised any suspicion, or led to the initial pursuit.
It is important not to speculate about what may have occurred, especially in light of the very limited information released to the public. Our system is not set up to condemn the victim of a police shooting, based upon thin allegations that a man is suspected of an offense. Whether a person is accused of a traffic offense, or a shooting, our system of justice includes the necessity of due process. Those who are ultimately charged with a crime have a right to vigorously defend against the allegations in court.
Source: Cerritos Patch, “VIDEO: Investigation Continues into Deputy-Involved Shooting of DUI Suspect in Cerritos,” MarieSam Sanchez, Feb. 27, 2012