First Responders

WATCH: LAPD Officer Rescue Captured On Body Cam

March 31, 2021Matt White
Coffee or Die Photo

The Los Angeles Police Department released a dramatic and graphic 20-minute video centered around a March shootout that left one officer shot and a 36-year-old man dead. LAPD officer body cameras captured  the rescue and a suspect being hit by gunfire during the March 16 standoff. The video includes dramatic footage of a fellow officer dragging his wounded partner to safety. In the video, an officer can be heard identifying the officer who is shot as Rodney Williams.

Warning: This LAPD video of a March 16 shootout contains graphic images of shootings and life-threatening wounds. Watch at your own discretion. 

The shooting occurred in the department’s Southwest Patrol Division, near downtown Los Angeles. A little after noon, George Cerda, 36, was reported by two 911 calls as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and to have fired a gun. The video contains body cam footage of an LAPD officer negotiating with Cerda, telling him, “You’re not going to go to jail, we just want you to step out. But the longer we’re here, it gets worse.”

As Cerda stops talking, a woman who is also in contact with him tells officers that Cerda said, “I’m gonna die today.”

Fifteen minutes into the video, the perspective switches to the body camera of a SWAT team officer who, with Williams just in front of him, is approaching the house that Cerda is in. Police yell for Cerda to come out as the lead officer peers around the corner of a garage. A round strikes Williams in his ballistic vest as the camera wearer prepares a tear gas canister.

LAPD officer rescue
Body can footage of an LAPD officer rescue captured a SWAT officer firing down from a window at a suspect who had just shot a fellow officer. LAPD body camera image.

Then, in quick succession, the second officer fires the gas canister, Cerda can be heard firing, and Williams is struck in the head or neck by a shot as he kneels in a firing position.

Williams’ partner yells that Williams has been hit and drags him to safety. Williams can be seen bleeding as his partner pulls him across the ground.

The video then cuts to the body camera of an officer in a window above the scene who fires at and hits Cerda. A final section of the video shows officers cuffing Cerda, and kicking away what appears to be a Kel-Tec KSG-style shotgun. Police say that gun was determined to be stolen, and a pistol in Cerda’s possession did not have a serial number.

Updated at 5:37 p.m.: An LAPD spokesperson confirmed to Coffee or Die Magazine that Williams has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

Read Next: How Mandatory Body-Worn Cameras Benefit Cops and Those They Serve

Matt White
Matt White

Matt White is a former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. He was a pararescueman in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard for eight years and has more than a decade of experience in daily and magazine journalism.

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