Authorities have identified the man shot and killed with his own gun two weeks ago following a confrontation with Los Angeles police officers, but many of the details remain unknown, and the LAPD has not yet released video of the incident.
Anton Hayes Byrd, 40, died May 12 after being pulled over by a Los Angeles police patrol car near the corner of 74th Street and South Central Avenue in Southeast Los Angeles, east of the 110 Freeway.
Police said they were investigating a traffic infraction at roughly 11 p.m. that Friday when they pulled over Byrd, whose home is listed as Livonia, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta.
In an initial report about the incident, an LAPD spokesperson said officers spotted a gun inside Byrd’s car.
Another LAPD spokesperson, Capt. Kelly Muniz, added new information this week, saying Byrd “was asked to step out of the vehicle. Before exiting the vehicle, he retrieved a handgun. The officer on the passenger side of the vehicle alerted his partner that he observed a gun.”
As Byrd got out of the car, he was immediately confronted by the second officer, who was standing by the driver’s side door, Muniz said. When the officer attempted to restrain Byrd he “attempted to escape the officer’s hold, lunging himself forward,” an LAPD statement said.
“During the brief struggle, the driver discharged his handgun and sustained a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to his neck and immediately fell to the ground,” the statement continues.
The officers then moved the gun — a 9-millimeter semiautomatic — away and handcuffed Byrd. They reported finding one spent casing near the loaded weapon.
The Los Angeles City Fire Department said it received a call at 11:05 p.m., with a unit reaching the shooting scene at 11:11 pm. Five minutes after that, rescuers took Byrd to Dignity Health — California Hospital Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles, where he was reported dead.
The police officers, whom the LAPD declined to identify, were not injured.
LAPD officials declined to release other details, including the nature of the traffic stop and whether Byrd aimed the gun at officers or at himself.
Department policy requires videos of critical incidents to be released within 45 days. “Our goal is to get them out as quickly as we can,” said Muniz. “But with our limited staffing and the workload it just doesn’t allow us to turn it around in just two, three or four days.”
The LAPD said the department’s Force Investigation Division is reviewing the incident.