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Parents call for help during son's mental health episode but police fatally shoot him within seconds

Parents call for help during son's mental health episode but police fatally shoot him within seconds

Yong Yang was fatally shot by police while having a mental health episode

Warning: this article contains footage that some readers may find distressing.

A man was fatally shot by police while having a mental health episode.

Yong Yang's concerned parents had called Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health about their son, who was having a bipolar episode last month.

Yang had been diagnosed with the mental health condition around 15 years ago.

According to reports, a mental health clinician was sent to evaluate him said he became combative at is mom and dad's Koreatown-based apartment, sparking police to be brought in.

Yong Yang was holding a knife when police arrived. (Los Angeles Police Department)
Yong Yang was holding a knife when police arrived. (Los Angeles Police Department)

The clinician told police that Yang needed to go to hospital, as per bodycam footage recently uploaded to Los Angeles Police Department's YouTube channel.

The video shows police trying to urge the 40-year-old to unlock the apartment door, but when he refused to do so they were able to get their own set of keys to open it.

Yang was found to have a knife in his hands and was told to 'drop it', but when he didn't immediately do so, the officer in the doorway proceeded to fatally shoot Yang.

The LA Fire Department were called to the scene in response of the shooting, and Yang was pronounced dead, police have revealed in a news release.

While the officer in question thought Yang posted a threat, his parents have since disputed this.

Warning: Distressing Content

They purposely didn't phone police at first out of fears their son would be hurt.

"The whole situation was created so that he could protect himself," his father Ming Yang told NBC News.

"He just yelled out. People were trying to barge in, and he clearly stated that ‘you guys are not invited.'"

The Yang family have since called for an independent investigation into the shooting and have questioned why police didn't use non-lethal weapons.

While the clinician who visited Yang before police were called claimed that the 40-year-old had tried to kick him, his father has denied this as well.

"Maybe the guy felt threatened, but I don’t think my son threatened him," he said. "If he was threatened by the mentally ill person’s remark like that, when he’s trying to barge in behind me, then he needs to study more."

The officer who shot the gun has been named as Andres Lopez. (David McNew/Getty Images)
The officer who shot the gun has been named as Andres Lopez. (David McNew/Getty Images)

According to the family's lawyer, personnel spent less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds assessing and assisting Yang before they called the police.

The officer who shot Yang has since been named as Andres Lopez.

Lopez was also involved in an on-duty shooting in 2021 when he shot and wounded a mentally ill man who was waiving what turned out to be a replica handgun, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The district attorney went on to conclude that Lopez acted in self-defense in his use of deadly force regarding the non-fatal 2021 incident.

Featured Image Credit: LAPD/Family of Yong Yang/Panish Shea Ravipudi LLP

Topics: Los Angeles, Mental Health, News, Police, US News, Gun Crime

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