North Hollywood — A man threatening family members with a knife pointed a handgun at responding officers and an officer involved shooting occurred, killing the suspect. On March 24, 2012, at 6 p.m., North Hollywood Area officers responded to a radio call of a man armed with a knife and causing a disturbance in the 7400 block of Craner Avenue. Arriving officers were told by witnesses the suspect, 35-year-old Benjamin Bittner, had barricaded himself inside the residence and was armed with a handgun. While officers were awaiting the arrival of LAPD SWAT and K-9 resources, around 6:30 p.m. Bittner came out of the house armed with a handgun. An officer involved shooting occurred and Bittner was struck by gunfire. Los Angeles Fire Department responded and transported Bittner to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
None of the four involved officers were injured. An replica handgun, resembling a Colt 1911, was recovered at scene. Force Investigation Division Detectives responded and are investigating the officer involved shooting. The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Office of the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the FID at 213-486- 5230. Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org by clicking on “webtips” and following the prompts.