Deputy David PowellLos Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
On November 30th, 2002, at approximately 10:35 a.m., Norwalk Station received a “shots fired” call. Air-7 observed two possible suspects fleeing the location on foot. One suspect was seen entering a yard on east 167th street, Artesia. A Norwalk Station deputy, along with Deputy Powell and another Lakewood station deputy, responded to the sighting. They contacted the resident at the location. He told them a male Hispanic matching Air-7’s description forced his way into the rear house. He added that the rear house belonged to his sister and she was afraid to exit.
Fearing a hostage situation had developed, the deputies shouted commands for the suspect to exit the house. They observed the suspect, a male Hispanic, looking out through the window of the front door. One deputy took a containment position at the rear of the house. Deputy Powell and a second deputy attempted to force entry through the front door when four shots were fired from inside the house. A bullet struck Powell in his right shoulder. The assisting deputy returned fire with one round from his shotgun through the front door. The two deputies then pulled Powell out of the line of fire.
Powell was transported to Saint Francis Medical Center, Lynwood, where he died during surgery. A special weapons team responded and contained the location. Upon entry, they found one deceased, male, Hispanic, adult inside, who has been identified as 21-year-old Alberto Reyes of Irvine, CA. The suspect sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso and head.
A semi-automatic pistol was recovered from under the suspect’s body. A second suspect was located a few blocks away, hiding in a yard on Arkansas Ave. He is currently charged with burglary and a probation violation.
Deputy Powell had been with the Sheriff’s Department for 18 years and is survived by his wife, four daughters, parents, brother, and seven grandchildren.