Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has released bodycam footage that captured the moment a suicidal woman pointed a gun at police (video below).
The incident occurred in the 8000-block of Hesperia Avenue on May 26, the department said in a press release on July 11.
West Valley Patrol Division officers were dispatched to the area after a woman called 911 to report that an unknown female was sitting on the ground in her driveway.
“She’s on her phone with somebody, saying that she is going to kill herself,” the homeowner said in the 911 recording. “You can’t see her probably from the street.”
As the call continued, the caller suddenly realized that the woman sitting cross-legged in her driveway was holding a weapon.
“Oh – she has a gun!” she told the dispatcher. “Oh good god, she has a gun to her head!”
Officers responded to the scene and made contact with the armed woman, who was later identified as 19-year-old Julie Fernandez.
Fernandez told police that she had gotten into an argument with her boyfriend, and that she wanted to talk to him, bodycam footage showed.
Fernandez was armed with her boyfriend’s .45 caliber Glock, which was fully loaded.
“He came from work and said that she was fighting with some other gang member,” one of the officers explained to other officers at the scene.
Her boyfriend told police that he came home at 6:30 p.m. and saw Fernandez and a man “throwing gang signs” at one another outside.
She became enraged, then went inside and grabbed the boyfriend’s gun and threatened to kill herself “before the cops get here,” one officer explained.
Additional officers attempted to speak with Fernandez from behind the cover of a patrol SUV.
“You’re going to be alright,” one of them told her.
“I’m gonna die before you guys take me in!” she yelled back, still holding the gun to her head. “Do you not under f--king stand that? That’s what your guys’ job is, right?”
The officer asked Fernandez what they could do to help her, as another officer radioed for a specialized response team to respond to the area.
“Shoot me!” she begged them. “I’m tired!”
The officers remained calm and repeatedly tried to de-escalate the tense situation by talking with her and lessening the number of lethal weapons pointed at her.
“We want you to just put the gun down and we’ll talk,” one of the officers told her. “Whatever is going in your life is not that bad, Julie.”
The armed suspect then complained that the officers had guns pointed at her.
“Give us the chance to help you, okay?” they begged.
“F--king shoot me! I f--king tired of this f--king bulls—t!” Fernandez told police, as she stood up and began walking into the street.
“S--t!” one of the officers said, just as the suspect pulled the weapon away from her head and pointed it towards the officers.
At least one of the officers fired at Fernandez multiple times, at which point she began screaming, dropped her weapon, and made her way back over to the driveway.
She wailed as she collapsed onto the grass, and officers quickly moved in and took her into custody.
Emergency medical personnel treated Fernandez at the scene, then transported her to a local hospital for treatment of her gunshot wounds, LAPD Captain Gisselle Espinoza said in the video release.
She has since been listed in stable condition, and is expected to survive, the LAPD said in a press release.
Fernandez has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, as well as a firearms enhancement.
The findings of the LAPD Force Investigation Division’s investigation into the officer-involved shooting will be reviewed by the Board of Police Commissioners, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Chief of Police, who will determine whether the officer’s use of deadly force was in line with the agency’s policies and procedures.
Their findings will be reviewed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine whether the officers complied with the law during the incident.
You can watch bodycam footage of the officers’ encounter with Fernandez in the video below: