Police detective forced to take out armed criminal pointing a gun at his partner on trial for manslaughter

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KANSAS CITY, MO – Kansas City Police Detective Eric DeValkenaere, a member of the Violent Offenders Unit, took the stand on November 10th to explain not only why he had to defend his life from an armed suspect before he fired but to dispute any allegations that he had planted evidence at the scene to make it look like a justified shooting.

DeValkenaere alleges he had no other option but to use deadly force against an armed suspect, identified as Cameron Lamb, in December of 2019.

Regardless of his allegations, a grand jury, who reviewed all aspects and facts of the case, indicted DeValkenaere of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the case.

The prosecution’s case rests on an allegation that Lamb was not armed when he was backing his truck into his garage.

They allege that the gun that was found in the garage next to Lamb’s body was planted either by DeValkenaere or another officer after it was located inside of a staircase inside the garage.

One of the allegations that bolster the prosecution claims that crime scene investigators found no firearm rounds on Lamb’s body when they originally processed the scene.

However, when his body arrived at the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office, investigators there located two bullets inside of one of Lamb’s pockets.

According to Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor Tim Dollar, those rounds could not have been there when crime scene personnel were processing the area and his body.

DeValkenaere denied that he planted any evidence at the scene and further denied that he instructed anyone else to do so, or to falsify any police reports.

As he spoke of the incident, and his decision to use deadly force, DeValkenaere broke down in tears and had to take several moments before he could compose himself to continue testimony.

DeValkenaere testified that he did see Lamb with a gun from his vantage point, a position which allowed him to see it based upon where Lamb was located – a line of sight that was blocked for any other officers that were on the scene.

DeValkenaere said that he had no intention of firing on Lamb until he saw Lamb raise the gun towards another officer at the scene, Detective Troy Schwalm, also a member of the Violent Offenders Unit.

DeValkenaere testified:

“My focus moves from that weapon to the center of his chest. I bring my weapon from this position [DeValkenaere displays a shooting stance] and drive it towards him. As I acquire the front side, I discharge a round to his center mass.”

Prosecutors then began to question DeValkenaere, not about the shooting, but the reason why he was present at Lamb’s residence.

Prosecutors are alleging that no police officer had a right, under those circumstances, to be on the personal property of Lamb without a warrant or consent.

Prosecutors are hoping to build a foundation that officers had no legal authority to be at Lamb’s residence, and by doing so instigated the officer-involved shooting.

They believe if they can prove that DeValkenaere and other officers violated Lamb’s rights before the shooting that they will be able to prove that his actions were criminally reckless and obtain a conviction.

Prosecutors drilled down on the reason why DeValkenaere and Schwalm came to be on Lamb’s property.

When asked if there had been any probable cause to enter the property without permission, DeValkenaere conceded there was not. 

He also conceded that he knew nothing of previous criminal activity allegedly conducted by Lamb or that the truck he was driving was stolen at the time of the shooting.

The incident started when a detective witnessed Lamb driving the red truck recklessly chasing his girlfriend, Shanice Reed. At the time the detective witnessed Lamb allegedly driving recklessly, no one knew that Lamb and Reed were involved in any type of dispute.

Prosecutors allege that DeValkenaere had witnessed Lamb driving the truck erratically earlier and running a red light, yet, at the time, did not attempt to stop the vehicle or notify any other officers in the area of the situation.

Because of this, prosecutors are trying to get the jurors to believe that if Lamb’s driving actions were sufficient enough for DeValkenaere and other officers to pursue him into his residence, then he would have attempted to stop him before the shooting.

DeValkenaere conceded that he and other officers lacked any probable cause, warrant, or consent to enter Lamb’s property before the shooting.

However, he did tell the court that based on his training and experience that he had reasonable suspicion that a crime either had or was about to occur.

DeValkenaere entered the backyard of the residence after a police helicopter implied that the occupant of the truck had fled the area on foot. Because of this, DeValkenaere approached the truck before he knew Lamb was still inside.

Prosecutors questioned why DeValkenaere did not make any attempts to de-escalate the situation or call for additional backup units before he opened fire.

He answered that he did not have enough time to be able to do so, as this situation unfolded in a total of nine seconds.

While in the luxury of hindsight, prosecutors attempt to paint a picture that DeValkenaere should have considered, and employed, other options when he claims Lamb was starting to point a gun at his partner.

But it is difficult for a logical person to conclude nine seconds is enough time for the mind to process any of that situation.

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‘Unarmed victim’? LAPD released body camera footage showing officer shoot knife-wielding attacker

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Police Department recently released body-worn camera footage from an officer-involved shooting of a man who had been accused of stabbing a young woman.

On October 2nd, officers with the LAPD were in the area of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue when a young woman, 19 years old, approached them stating that she had been stabbed.

The woman pointed out the man, later identified as Grisha Alaverdyan, and police approached him to investigate and noted that he was still armed with a knife.

According to a tweet from the Los Angeles Police Department:

“Officers gave the suspect commands to drop the knife, which he ignored. The suspect advance towards the officers, several beanbag rounds were deployed and officer-involved shooting occurred.”

Police detective forced to take out armed criminal pointing a gun at his partner on trial for manslaughter

Alaverdyan was struck by the rounds that were fired by the officers who were attempting to defend themselves from the deadly threat the suspect posed.

Officers provided first aid and Alaverdyan was transported to a local hospital for what was reported as non-life-threatening injuries.

ABC7 spoke to people who were in the area at the time of the officer-involved shooting. One person, Frank Dickerson, told reporters:

“The first thing I noticed was the cop cars pulling in very quickly to that corner. They got out, had weapons drawn, and then it was all real quick, like within a matter of a minute…the shots were fired.”

Police investigators advised the victim did not suffer any apparent life-threatening injuries and reported that the attack was random.

Police have also not been able to identify any reason why Alaverdyan attacked the woman or the officers. LAPD Sergeant Bruce Borihahn said:

“It’s a random attack. Unfortunately, it happened, but thankfully the officers were there to address that problem immediately.”

The Los Angeles Police Department released the body-worn camera footage of the incident for public transparency. The video starts with someone pointing out Alaverdyan to officers as they rush toward him.

In the video, officers order Alaverdyan to come toward them and show them his hands. Alaverdyan says:

“Fuck you.”

At this point, the officer identifies that he sees the knife in Alaverdyan’s hand and calls for backup units.

The encounter remains somewhat calm other than Alaverdyan calling the officer names. After several repeated commands and requests for him to drop the knife, he refuses.

Police detective forced to take out armed criminal pointing a gun at his partner on trial for manslaughter

Alaverdyan begins laughing and thrusting his hips as officers level a less-lethal shotgun in his direction. After warnings are given, Alaverdyan begins approaching officers which caused them to fire the bean bag rounds, and an officer fires his department weapon and he continued to approach officers.

Officers moved in and took Alaverdyan into custody without any further incident. An officer is seen locating the knife on camera. The Los Angeles Police Department charged Alaverdyan with one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of brandishing a weapon.

The officers who were involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation which is normal protocol for these situations. If the officers are cleared of any wrongdoing, they will be able to return to full duty.

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