Witness disputes officer’s account of Los Alamos shooting
July 18, 2012
The woman whose boyfriend was shot three times in the chest after she called 911 to report he had a knife is disputing the California Highway Patrol officer’s account of the event. [KCOY]
CHP officials said the officer was responding to a report of 18-year-old Michael Ledesma threatening his girlfriend with a knife in a vehicle that also contained a small child. The officer then shot the suspect during a traffic stop on Sunday near Los Alamos.
Officials said Ledesma threatened the officer who was then forced to shoot him.
The Santa Maria man’s girlfriend, Elisa Morales, gives a very different account of the incident.
Morales, who was driving the car, told KCOY her boyfriend was drunk, depressed, bleeding and threatening to kill himself with a knife. She pulled over on Highway 135 and called 911 to get him help.
CHP officers then surrounded the vehicle, Ledesma stepped out with the knife and an officer fired three times.
“I don’t know if it was a warning shot or whatever, but he dropped it (the knife),” Morales told KCOY. “it wasn’t like he got shot and he dropped it, he dropped it himself and he just stood right there. Between the first shot, when he shot him and the knife fell, there was a gap, you know, there was a gap between the first shot and the next two shots and that’s when he fell over.”
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office has filed charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon on a female victim and peace officer, as well as felony child endangerment against Ledesma. He is listed in critical condition at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is conducting a preliminary investigation into the shooting.