A woman fatally shot by Long Beach police officers earlier this month said “Let me die” about 20 minutes before officers say she pointed a rifle at them while standing near her residence in the Wrigley neighborhood, newly-released video footage of the incident shows.
The woman was distraught after the death of her boyfriend, according to roommate Dan Hanken. Although it was originally unclear who was responsible for killing the boyfriend, whose throat was cut, coroner’s officials have ruled it was a suicide.
Police at several points tried to convince the woman to put the gun down after they responded to an early morning 911 call on April 2 in the 2800 block of Golden Avenue.
“No, Lauren, we want to help you,” one of the officers said in response to the woman, Lauren Archibeque, 38.
As part of a new state law, the Long Beach Police Department released several minutes of video footage from body-worn cameras that the officers were wearing, as well as a 911 call, related to the incident.
On a recording of the 911 call, Archibeque’s roommate, 51-year-old Hanken, can be heard telling officers that Archibeque had a gun but that he didn’t think she was dangerous.
“Lauren, put the gun down,” Hanken is heard saying on the recording.
Whoever first called 911 also informed the fire department, the first agency responding to the call, that Archibeque was threatening suicide and that there was a dead person with a slashed throat inside the residence, according to a dispatcher on the call.
When police arrived at the scene, they were met by a man who identified himself as one of the residents of the home.
“My friend, [name redacted], apparently is dead and his girlfriend’s freaking out,” the man, whose face is blurred in the video, can be heard telling police.
Police then entered the residence, where Archibeque can be heard sobbing and wailing as officers draw closer toward the bedroom she is in.
Archibeque did not respond to officers asking whether she was armed, but when police reached the bedroom door, they described seeing a weapon.
“She’s got a gun, bro,” one officer said.
Archibeque is not seen on the footage at any point.
Police then exited the residence and took shelter behind a patrol vehicle. Shortly after, annotations to the video stated, Archibeque followed them outside, standing on the patio with a rifle.
Officers can be heard repeatedly asking her to put the gun down. A standoff ensued for several minutes before Archibeque went back inside the residence. Roughly 17 minutes later, she reappears.
According to the video, officers saw Archibeque pointing a gun at them. She is obscured from view, and neither of two body-worn cameras featured in the video show a clear view of her on the patio.
Several shots were then fired by police. Archibeque was determined dead on the scene.
According to the department, an investigation into the incident is ongoing, which is standard in police shootings.
Police did not release the names of the officers involved, but stated that there were three officers who fired shots during the incident.
Justin Lomako, 49, the man who was found inside the residence after Hanken called 911, was also determined dead on the scene. The coroner’s office has ruled the death a suicide, determining a cut on his neck as the sole cause of death.
Hanken, the roommate, said in an interview Thursday he’s still in the dark about what happened and has spent the past two weeks cleaning up the home and communicating with Archibeque’s family, particularly her 22-year-old son.
“It’s just very tragic that the cops couldn’t disarm her,” Hanken, who still lives at the residence, said. “We cleaned up the house as best we could; we’re taking care of the cat there.”
The remaining roommates, including Hanken, are currently looking for a new home for the couple’s cat, Squeaky.
“We’re trying to move on with our lives,” he said.
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