A man shot dead by Riverside police officers during a confrontation over the weekend was allegedly hurling metal pipes at them when the shooting occurred, a sergeant said today.
David Ledezma, 52, was fatally wounded shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday outside his residence in the 10700 block of Cypress Avenue.
According to police, officers were called to the location to investigate a domestic violence complaint stemming from a fight between the suspect and his wife, during which the latter alleged she was struck in the nose.
When officers arrived, Ledezma was rummaging through the trunk of his car, throwing tools in his front yard, said Sgt. David Amador.
Amador said three officers tried to speak with Ledezma, but he refused to acknowledge them and instead allegedly pulled a knife from his pants pocket, “then put it against his neck and threatened to stab himself.”
Ledezma allegedly ignored commands to drop the weapon and retrieved a large pipe, raising it over his shoulder and flinging it at the officers, who had to duck, Amador said.
The officers deployed a Taser to subdue the suspect, but it proved ineffective, according to Amador.
“Mr. Ledezma picked up another large metal pipe and began hitting objects in the yard with it,” Amador said. “Mr. Ledezma was ordered to drop the pipe by the officers. He refused to drop the pipe, raised the pipe above his shoulder and moved toward the officers. Fearing for their safety, the officers discharged their weapons, striking Mr. Ledezma several times.”
The gravely wounded man was rushed to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead less than two hours later.
An internal investigation is under way, according to Amador.