LOS ANGELES, CA — The Newton Area Vice officer involved in the below officer involved shooting has been identified as Police Officer II Nicholas Balzano, who has been with the Department for 5 years and 11 months. On May 25, 2011, around 5:57 p.m., plainclothes undercover Newton Area Vice officers were driving eastbound on 41st Place from Main Street, in a plain unmarked vehicle. As the officers proceeded eastbound toward 230 East 41st Place, two male Hispanics crossed the street walking northbound in front of the officers with one of the males yelling, “This is HOB Hood” (Hang Out Boys).
As the officers’ vehicle proceeded eastbound, numerous gunshots were fired at the officers’ vehicle with one bullet striking the unmarked police vehicle. One of the vice officers looked back and observed one of the two males that he initially observed in the street pointing a handgun at the police vehicle. This officer immediately drew his duty weapon and returned fire to stop the assailant’s assault. The officers requested additional units. Responding Newton patrol units in addition to Metropolitan Division K-9 and SWAT units conducted a search resulting in the three suspects being initially detained.
All three suspects are HOB gang members. Additionally, three weapons, an assault rifle, bolt action rifle, and a fully loaded 22 caliber revolver were recovered in connection with this investigation. The investigation is on-going. Force Investigation Division responded and is investigating the OIS. The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by 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. Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the officerinvolved shooting.