SWAT teams get called out to situations were suspects are not cooperating. Often, the suspect has barricaded themselves inside a building with their weapons.
According to KABC, on March 16th, LAPD was called with a report stating a man was firing a rifle in the air in a residential area. When officers arrived, they saw the property had two separate residences, one at the front and one in the rear. The suspect Jorge Cerda shut himself in one of the buildings, refusing to come out.
Since he was refusing to come out of the residence, a SWAT team was sent to the home to help mitigate the situation. According to recently released bodycam footage, officers spoke with Cerda from his sister’s phone.
“We don’t want to come in there,” one of the officers told him. “We don’t want you to die today.”
According to Moore, officers even went as far as to play recordings of Cerda’s family members pleading with him to surrender. Unfortunately, those recordings and all other negotiation attempts failed to bring Cerda to reason.
After officers exhausted all other methods, they sent tear gas into the home.
“After the Crisis Negotiation Team declared an impasse, gas was deployed into the home. As this occurred, the suspect fired, striking one SWAT officer twice.”LAPD Officials
You can see SWAT officers standing behind a build next to the driveway in the footage, both with various weapons ranging from non-lethal to lethal. The suspect, Cerda, fired a shot and hit one of the SWAT officers in the vest.
Once they fired the tear gas into the home, Cerda fired another shot and hit the same SWAT officer in the face. You can see his partner pulling him back towards another property area away from the building and Cerda in the video.
Officers returned fire, and Cerda was hit multiple times and died at the home of his injuries. Officer Williams has since been released from the hospital and is very happy to be alive.
Highly Trained Team
SWAT teams know they are headed into sticky situations where a shoot-out with the suspect is likely. However, they lean on each other and their training to get the best possible outcomes.
In this case, officers employed every non-lethal method they could. Unfortunately, the suspect did not take advantage of any of them.