LANCASTER (CBSLA) — Dozens of community members from Lancaster peacefully rallied on Sunday night to demand answers after a man was killed by police in his own home last week.
About a hundred people came together in prayer outside the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger in Lancaster.
They say they want answers after 62-year-old Michael Thomas was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy early Thursday morning in his living room.
“There was blood. Blood from a gunshot. The gunfight that had taken place on the couch in their living room and that was really hard to wake up to see,” said Giovanni Pope, who helped spearhead the rally on Sunday night. “I’m 17 years old. And to see the bloodshed of a member of your community that really just dampens so many people’s mental health, including mine.”
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said someone called 911 to report domestic violence at the home.
According to LASD, Thomas came to the door but refused to comply with their orders before engaging in a struggle with an officer and attempting to take one of their guns, prompting a deputy to open fire.
Thomas’ fiance, Kimberly, disputes the officers’ claim, saying instead that they roughly grabbed his arm and he told them he was in pain, before trying to turn away from them and then getting fatally shot. The L.A. County Office of the Inspector General is investigating Thomas’ death.
The 62-year-old’s death comes on the heels of the hanging death of 24-year-old Robert Fuller in Palmdale, which some of his loved ones fear could have involved foul play, rather than suicide as LASD suggested. A full autopsy and independent investigation will determine Fuller’s official cause of death.
LASD said it will be holding a news conference on Monday morning to provide updates on the investigation into Fuller’s death.