In a case that has already sparked much confusion and outrage in the heavily immigrant neighborhood of Westlake, Los Angeles County coroner's officials announced recently that the Guatemalan day laborer who was fatally shot by an LAPD officer went by several different names.
Since the Sept. 5 shooting, relatives and acquaintances have identified the dead man as 37-year-old Manuel Jamines. However, coroner's officials identified him as Manuel Ramirez based on a fingerprint match with U.S. Department of Justice records. They also found U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement documentation identifying him as Gregorio Luis Perez, with a 1984 date of birth.
Coroner spokesman Ed Winter told The Times that they had initially identified him as Manuel Jaminez, a name they obtained from a cousin at the scene.
Protests, memorials and sporadic bouts of violence have occurred in the neighborhood almost daily since an LAPD bicycle officer shot and killed the laborer near 6th Street and Union Avenue. It was around 1 p.m. when a pedestrian flagged down a group of three bicycle officers. They were told that a man with a knife was threatening people, according to a police statement.
Officers approached the man, ordered him to drop the knife several times in both English and Spanish, and opened fire when he allegedly lunged at one of the officers, authorities said. According to coroner's records, the man died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head.
Police said that they recovered a knife from the scene and that detectives are investigating the killing.
On Thursday, a woman who said she witnessed the shooting told reporters that she had not seen a weapon in the man's hands. She would not give her full name, nor did she agree to appear on camera.
The police officer who shot Ramirez has been accused in a civil lawsuit of improperly using deadly force in a previous incident. Officer Frank Hernandez shot 19-year-old Joseph Wolf in the leg on the morning of Dec.12, 2008, according to a civil rights and negligence lawsuit filed in March of this year by Wolf's attorneys.
Times staff writer Victoria Kim contributed to this report.