East Los Angeles sheriff's deputies were following a minivan around 10 p.m. after receiving a report that an armed man had left a party in a vehicle matching its description. The man allegedly left the party after a confrontation.
The minivan came to a stop at Walnut Street, west of Otis Avenue. Officials said the suspect, identified by family members as Rigoberto Arceo, got out of the vehicle's passenger side, advanced on a deputy and attempted to take the deputy's gun. That's when the deputy opened fire.
"A deputy was telling him 'Stop, let me see your hands,' and things like that and he didn't comply," said sheriff's Sgt. Rich Pena. "At some point, they got into a physical altercation and the suspect started trying to get to the deputy's duty weapon. At that point, the deputy retained his gun, fired one round into the suspect, hitting him in the upper torso."
Arceo was pronounced dead at the hospital. No deputies were injured.
Maria Arceo, the suspect's sister, was behind the wheel of the minivan. She said she pulled over when she saw the deputies' lights flashing behind her. She said her brother posed no danger to them.
"My brother came out as he was asked with his hands up in the air and he walked towards the back of my van," she said. "The cop said that he lunged at him. I never saw him lunge or say a single word. He just walked up with his hands up in the air and he got shot."
A gun was recovered from the minivan. Maria Arceo said the gun was not loaded and that it did not belong to her brother.
Arceo was a father of two boys and was engaged to be married.