They did follow their department's policy and state legal requirements by calling an ambulance immediately after the shooting stopped. But, as Matasareanu lay bleeding and calling for help, they did very little to hasten assistance.
Recordings of police radio transmissions from the scene contain no other calls for help from police after the initial requests--until it was too late.
And the LAPD had more than humane reasons to want to keep Matasareanu alive.
Practically from the moment the robbery started, top brass at the scene suspected that Matasareanu and Phillips were the gunmen who had committed four other bank or armored-car robberies that netted at least $1.7 million, Cmdr. Scott LaChasse, the LAPD's incident supervisor, said.
Despite Matasareanu's potential value to investigators, LaChasse acknowledged that he did not stay abreast of his condition after he was taken into custody. He and other top police officials were preoccupied, he said, with reports of additional suspects and with ensuring that all injured officers were receiving treatment.
"There was only so much we could do," LaChasse said.
Officers at the scene say they did not ignore Matasareanu's plight.
At least two police officers said in statements to LAPD investigators that they approached Ortiz or Skier and asked them to request another ambulance for the wounded suspect.
But neither Skier nor Ortiz mentioned any such request in their written statements about the incident. In fact, they said an officer initially steered them away from Matasareanu and directed them to Marr.
Later, when Skier attempted to approach Matasareanu, he reported, an officer turned him away. "Get the f--- out of here. There are suspects in the area," said the officer, later identified by Skier as Vojtecky, the ranking officer at the scene.
Vojtecky, who has since retired and moved to Washington state, could not be reached for comment. But Vincent, the city attorney, said the detective told him "he could have [made the statement], but he didn't remember."
Wilmot said firefighters usually follow police orders at a crime scene.
"If the police tell us no, that means no," he said.
After the ambulance left with Marr, Officer Futrell continued standing near Matasareanu. In an internal LAPD report, he said that he assumed an ambulance soon would arrive with help for the wounded bank robber.
Thus, he stood by the bleeding man for 20 minutes waiting, but never checking to see why help had not arrived.
By 10:52, according to LAPD communication tapes, Matasareanu had been in custody and bleeding for nearly an hour. At that point, Futrell said, he became "concerned" about Matasareanu. So he called an ambulance.
According to Police Department communication tapes, however, Futrell did not tell the dispatcher that Matasareanu's condition was urgent.
"Make sure when there's an ambulance available have him to respond to my location," he said.
A few seconds later, according to the tape, Futrell reminded the dispatcher of his request for an ambulance, again adding "when there's one available."
The dispatcher asked, "Is it an officer or a citizen?"
Futrell responded, "It's a suspect," adding for the third time, "when there's one available."
When an ambulance finally was dispatched for the dying--perhaps already dead--Matasareanu at 11 a.m., it was sent on a "nonemergency" basis.
That was because, as Wilmot said, it was dispatched "to do paperwork on a DB."
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
The following chronology is based on police and Fire Department communication tapes, police officers' and firefighters' formal statements and interviews with civilian witnesses.
9:59 a.m.--Bleeding from 29 gunshot wounds, Emil Matasareanu surrenders to SWAT officers on Archwood Street between Hinds and Morella avenues.
10:01--Rescue Ambulance 875, with firefighter-emergency medical technicians Allen R. Skier and Jesse Ortiz, is dispatched to the scene.
10:04--Ambulance 89 also is dispatched.
10:08--Ambulances 875 and 89 are told to discontinue their run to Archwood and Morella. Skier and Ortiz, in Ambulance 875, ignore the order because they are approaching the scene and a police officer waves them in.
10:08-10:10--A police officer tells them that he thinks Matasareanu is dead. Ortiz notes that Matasareanu is "lying motionless, in a pool of blood."
10:08-10:25--Witnesses see Matasareanu repeatedly moving head and legs and hear him moaning and pleading for help. A detective fears that Matasareanu may try to stand and "prods" him twice with his feet. Another detective interrogates him.
10:13 a.m.--Ortiz calls dispatcher: "We're handling the incident on Archwood and Morella. We have one suspect down DB [dead body]. We have one civilian with a minor gunshot wound. We'll handle. We have enough PD coverage here."
10:25-10:30--Skier sees Matasareanu move and approaches him, but a police officer tells Skier, "Get the f--- out of here. There are suspects in the area."
10:30--Skier and Ortiz leave, carrying civilian William Marr, who suffered minor head wounds from glass and bullet fragments, but leaving Matasareanu, who is still moving about and bleeding profusely.
10:52--Matasareanu nears death. Officer John Futrell asks dispatcher to send an ambulance for Matasareanu "when there's one available."
11:05--Ambulance 60, dispatched nonemergency, arrives at Archwood and Morella "to do paperwork on a DB."
11:10--Matasareanu is pronounced dead.