Police Identify Two Who Died at Scene of Shooting

Photos by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Burbank police officers who responded to the report of a shooting early Tuesday found two men dead and a woman who was critically injured. Three children were also found and taken to family members.

Burbank police have identified two men who were shot and killed early Tuesday, but the reasons for the incident remain unclear.
After receiving a report of a shooting at about 1:25 a.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a residence in the 900 block of Cambridge Drive and found in the driveway a man who had at least one gunshot wound, according to a Burbank Police Department news release. The man, 34-year old Los Angeles resident Edward Lopez, was pronounced dead at the scene.
While trying to give aid to Lopez, officers heard yelling from inside the home about someone being shot, the department said. They entered the house and found 41-year-old Burbank resident Armen Sahakyan shot in his upstairs bedroom. He, too, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sahakyan’s wife, whom police have not identified by name, was taken from the house to a hospital in critical condition with gunshot wounds. The couple’s three children, ages 7, 13 and 17, were also found in the house and taken to family members.
Continue reading “Police Identify Two Who Died at Scene of Shooting”

Panel Gathering BPD-Related Topics for Discussion

The city’s Police Commission is gearing up for a series of monthly discussions about the Burbank Police Department’s policies, though some commissioners also emphasized caution in responding to residents’ calls for reform.
The commission largely used Tuesday’s meeting to develop ideas for discussion at future meetings. Many of the topics were brought up by residents who called in during the public comment period.

Chief Scott LaChasse appeared at a Burbank Police Commission meeting on Tuesday, when the panel considered topics regarding the BPD that it could discuss throughout the year. Ideas included reviewing the Police Department’s use-of-force practices and disciplinary procedures.

For instance, some residents who called the commission asked the group to review the way the BPD responds to situations involving a person with a mental illness, suggesting that sending mental health professionals would be a more appropriate response then sending an armed officer.
Some also wanted the BPD, which publishes its use-of-force policy and annual complaints statistics on its website, to list a breakdown of arrest records by race. Others pushed for funding to be diverted from the department to other city agencies.
“I have only ever had positive experiences with BPD and I am grateful for the work you do,” said Katie Ward in a public comment made to commissioners by phone. “I also understand, however, that I am afforded privilege by virtue of my white skin that not everyone is afforded, so I am mindful that my experience isn’t the only one to consider as a member of this community.”
The Police Commission, which advises the City Council, cannot make policy decisions on its own — a fact commissioners emphasized during their Tuesday meeting. Continue reading “Panel Gathering BPD-Related Topics for Discussion”