Newly elected Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has selected a deadly 2015 police shooting in Long Beach as one of four cases he plans to reopen, it was reported Friday.
The shooting occurred April 23 when Officer Jeffrey A. Meyer shot 19- year-old Hector Morejon while responding to a report of trespassing and vandalism at a vacant apartment unit in the 1100 block of Hoffman Avenue, which is in the Cambodia Town area of Long Beach.
Police said at the time Meyer fired his weapon when he saw Morejon turn around and extend his arm outward as if pointing a firearm.
Morejon died later at a hospital, police said. No weapon was recovered.
Prosecutors declined to file charges against Meyer, citing insufficient evidence of a criminal act.
Gascón said in a letter obtained by the Long Beach Post the case is “deeply troubling” and that Morejon died “due in large part to Officer Meyer’s decision to surreptitiously approach the kitchen window and point his gun inside without identifying himself as a police officer.”
Gascón added that District Attorney Jackie Lacey “failed to address the physical evidence that Morejon was shot in the back,” the Post reported.
The Long Beach Police Department issued a statement saying “we are always open to an impartial and objective review, by the District Attorney’s Office, of the facts and evidence in cases involving our officers.”
The city of Long Beach paid Morejon’s family $1.5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.
Gascón will look at three other cases including the shooting of an unarmed homeless man by a Los Angeles police officer in 2015, a 2013 shooting of a theft suspect by Gardena police, and a man shot by Torrance police after being told to exit his vehicle.