Body Camera Footage Released From Barricade, Deadly Shootout With SWAT Officers Near USC

Body camera footage was released on Tuesday from an encounter with police officers, where a SWAT officer was injured, during a barricade situation near the University of Southern California two weeks ago. Jasmine Viel reports.

Video Transcript

- Let me see your hands!


- Now at 4:30, a new look at the moment an LAPD SWAT officer was shot by a man following a four-hour standoff in Exposition Park.

That standoff began when family and neighbors called 911 to say Jorge Cerda was shooting a gun into the air. Police tried to negotiate with him for hours, but it turned deadly.

- KCAL9's Jasmine Viel joins us live now with more of the dramatic bodycam video. Jasmine?

JASMINE VIEL: Well Suzie, the LAPD usually has 45 days after an officer-involved shooting to release all bodycam video. But this incident happened just two weeks ago, and today they released that dramatic video to the public. And we do want to warn you, the video you are about to see is graphic.

- We have a situation on West 21st Street.

JASMINE VIEL: It began with a frantic 911 call on March 16, made by a family member of the suspect, 36-year-old Jorge Cerda, who they said was armed with a gun and on drugs.

- You know what, I have my nephew, he's in the back. And I'm not sure if he has a BB gun. And I want somebody to come in, please.

JASMINE VIEL: Concerned neighbors also called police.

- Hi, yes, I want to report that there's a guy in the property with a gun. He shot up into the air. My family's in the back house.

JASMINE VIEL: When the LAPD officers arrived, Cerda had barricaded himself inside the home on West 21st Street. Police say he had a shotgun, not a BB gun. Bodycam video shows officers calling Cerda on the phone.

- This is Officer Saenz with LAPD. Are you OK?

JASMINE VIEL: Eventually, a crisis negotiator was called in to help. But things escalated from there when Cerda refused to come out. In this bodycam video, you can see two SWAT team members closing in on the home, when suddenly the one in front is shot in his bulletproof vest.

- Jorge, let me see your hands!


- Let me have a round.

- You good?

- OK, everybody hold the air. Verify shot fired by the suspect. Correct?

- Roger.

- I got hit in the vest.

JASMINE VIEL: The second SWAT officer offers to switch positions.

- You want me to take your place?

- No, I'm good.

JASMINE VIEL: They fired tear gas into the home.


Seconds later, that same SWAT officer is shot again-- in the face.


- Rodney's down. Officer down! Officer down! Rodney's down!

JASMINE VIEL: We aren't showing you the graphic video, but it shows the injured officer falling to the ground and being dragged away by his partner.

We captured the moment that the SWAT officer was put into an ambulance and rushed to the hospital.

In another video released by the LAPD, a different officer fires at the suspect from a window.


- Is he shot?

- Yeah. Hey! Don't [BLEEP] move! Don't move! Don't reach for that rifle!

JASMINE VIEL: We've blurred the image but you can see a rifle next to Cerda, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The LAPD released these pictures saying they recovered a stolen shotgun and a pistol, which was a ghost gun, making it undetectable to law enforcement.

Now, that SWAT officer, a 17-year veteran, is expected to recover. The Police Commission will make that final decision on whether the officer-involved shooting was justified. Suzie?

- All right. Jasmine, thank you.