A suspect in a stabbing in California was shot and killed after police say he threatened to throw a knife at them.
At 3:40 p.m. on January 26, Huntington Park police received a call from a man claiming that he had been stabbed. The victim claimed that "without provocation," a black man in a wheelchair had attacked him "with a 12-inch butcher knife." When officers arrived, they discovered Anthony Lowe Jr., a 36-year-old black male in a wheelchair, just a few blocks away from the scene of the crime.
When police confronted Lowe, he was allegedly holding a butcher knife and refusing to cooperate with police commands. At some point, Lowe hopped off his wheelchair, still apparently holding the knife, and attempted to flee police. However, Lowe's escape was hampered by the fact that both of his legs had previously been amputated after an encounter with police in Texas, his family later alleged.
Though, as a double amputee, Lowe was relatively incapacitated, police said they still could not restrain him. They used a taser on him twice, but those attempts "were ineffective," the police report stated. The suspect allegedly continued to threaten police with the butcher knife and even claimed he would soon "throw the knife at the officers."
The suspect's continued threats against officers resulted "in an officer-involved shooting," the police report stated. Lowe was shot 10 times, and Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics later pronounced him dead at the scene.
A bystander filmed most of Lowe's encounter with police, and the video soon went viral on social media. The video footage does not show the fatal shooting, though its contents are disturbing.
The video footage indicates that Lowe was armed with a knife during the incident, but Lowe's family does not believe that the use of fatal force was warranted in this case.
"You guys knew your lives wasn’t in danger," said Lowe's cousin, Ellakenyada Gorum. "He’s running on his limbs. How cold-hearted could they be?"
"They refuse to give everything we need to know what really happened to him," she later stated, full of emotion. "He was not homeless, he was loved. And it’s sad, really sad, that they’re getting away from killing our African American people, just getting away with it. He was in a wheelchair. What more could he do? What more could he do?"
"They murdered my son in a wheelchair with no legs," added Lowe's mother, Dorothy Lowe, who also insisted she does not want anyone to riot in her son's name. She wants only justice.
"I just want the truth," Dorothy Lowe claimed. "Nothing but the truth and justice for my son. My son was murdered."
Huntington Park PD stated that the shooting remains under investigation by fellow members of the force, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department – Homicide Bureau, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave. Their names have not been released.
The man Lowe allegedly stabbed suffered a "life-threatening" injury to his chest and was immediately taken to the hospital on the day of the incident. He has been treated for a collapsed lung and internal bleeding, police said. As of Monday, he remained in the hospital in critical condition.
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