here is what is being reported and, for the most part it is accurate:
Raul Pena threatened both his wife and his teenage stepdaughter in the hours before he took his 19-month-old daughter hostage and both died during a
hail of police gunfire, authorities said today.
The wife and stepdaughter had called 911 and asked for emergency police assistance, saying Pena had threatened them, LAPD Chief William Bratton said
this afternoon at a press conference.
"She indicated he threatened to kill her, kill the baby, kill himself, and kill the mother," Bratton said.
A combative Bratton expressed strong support for the 11 officers who stormed Pena's business office in South Los Angeles on Sunday in what he said
was an attempt to save the infant, Susie Lopez. Pena had used her as a shield, holding her in front of him as he fired at police, wounding one
officer, police said.
"He's a coldblooded killer, and it's as simple as that," Bratton said.
The police chief told reporters that it is "likely" that bullets fired by police officers killed both Pena and Susie. "That doesn't change
anything," Bratton insisted, saying Pena's erratic behavior was responsible for the tragedy.
The LAPD and other agencies are just beginning their investigations of the incident, but Bratton firmly defended his officers. He listed the
indications of danger his officers encountered before storming the office: the two 911 calls from Pena's wife and stepdaughter; Pena's taking both
the toddler and teen hostage; his repeated firing of his weapon at officers; and his refusal to negotiate.
"In our discussions, he indicated very clearly that he was not going to go to jail," Bratton said.
In an earlier news conference, Pena's brother said officers should have been more patient.
German Pena said his family does not believe police accounts that his brother used his daughter as a shield.
LAPD officials said officers shot Raul Pena when they stormed an office in an attempt to rescue his daughter, Susie Lopez.
On Saturday, Pena had been served with a restraining order involving allegations of child molestation, police said. No other details were
The brother, his attorney Luis Carrillo, and the wife of the dead man, Lorena Lopez, said they were not aware of any court order against Pena.
"We did not expect this to happen to him," Pena said, speaking this morning through an interpreter. "He was a good person. It's been cruel what
happened to my brother."
Flanked by lawyers and clerics who criticized the Los Angeles Police Department, Pena said his family — including nine siblings — were mainly
confused and in pain.
"They should have acted more patiently, knowing that there was a baby in his arms," the brother said. "It's not OK what they did."
The decision to storm the office in which Pena hid came after a standoff of more than two hours, spurred by complaints that the man was firing
indiscriminately on a street corner. When police responded, he shot at them while holding the toddler in front of him.
In several exchanges of gunfire, officers believed they had wounded Pena and hoped that by storming the office they could save Lopez. Pena fired more
than 40 times at neighbors and police over the course of the confrontation, which lasted several hours, authorities said.
The criticism came one day after LAPD officials said the shootout occurred as they tried to rescue the girl. Instead, officers found themselves in a
harrowing gun battle inside an office where Pena was holding out. The gunfire ended with the suspect dead, an officer wounded, and Susie lying on the
floor, shot in the head.
The office was peppered with more than 60 bullet holes. One shot pierced a photo of Susie that Pena kept on his wall.
These were among new details offered Monday as officials tried to explain how the Watts shootout ended with the death of the hostage whom officers
were trying to save.
But police were not able to answer two central questions: When the girl was killed, and who fired the shot.
Police Chief William J. Bratton insisted Monday that the officers had no choice but to enter the building, saying that Pena, whom police on Sunday had
identified as Jose Raul Lemos, had repeatedly fired into the street, holding the girl in front of him and threatening to kill her.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for the public to await the outcome of an internal police investigation into the shooting, and declined
to comment on the officers' tactics.
Villaraigosa said the shooting was a tragedy and offered condolences to the girl's family, adding that officers had not intended for her to die.
"Not a one of them, not a one of them went into that situation with the intent to hurt anyone," Villaraigosa said. "They were doing their job....
We don't know exactly what happened, but we do know this: There was a man with a firearm shooting at the public, shooting at officers."
Bratton also offered condolences to the family but said that Pena is responsible for the girl's death, and condemned what he called the father's
"callousness" and "cowardice."
The SWAT officers involved in the standoff were taking the girl's death hard, police said, noting that it was the first time since 1980 that a
hostage died in an LAPD standoff.
"This has been extraordinarily traumatic for them, wondering if they possibly contributed to the death of a child," Bratton said.
"I am here to tell you they are in pain right now," said Police Capt. Scott Kroeber. "They are human."
Police officials offered the following account of Sunday's shooting:
They said that Southeast Division patrol officers got an "unknown trouble" radio call about 3:50 p.m.
They arrived at 10420 S. Avalon Blvd. in Watts, where they confronted an agitated Pena outside Raul's Auto Sales.
Seeing that Pena had a gun, the officers called for backup.
When additional officers arrived, Pena shot at them and officers returned fire. Pena retreated into his auto business and reemerged with the child in
his arms. He continued firing at the officers, who pulled back. Pena went inside.
That began a standoff in which Pena remained barricaded inside, surrounded by police and occasionally taking random shots through the walls and out
the doors of the building.
About 5 p.m., officers reached Pena by phone and tried to negotiate with him to release his daughter.
Shortly after, Pena's 17-year-old stepdaughter emerged from the dealership, caught behind a metal fence near the building.
Some officers moved forward to rescue the stepdaughter while others tried to keep Pena distracted on the phone. But as the police pried open the gate,
Pena emerged with the toddler again and fired at them. Officers returned fire and succeeded in removing the stepdaughter.
By 5:40 p.m., police elevated the standoff to a tactical alert. Negotiations continued with Pena, who was also reportedly speaking on the phone to
family members and neighbors during the standoff.
About 6:30 p.m., a SWAT officer in an armored vehicle known as a BearCat saw Pena at the back door of the building next to the closed garage door of
the auto shop's repair bay.
Initially, police officials said Pena had his daughter in his arms at that point. But later, officials said they were unsure where the girl was.
Officers fired at Pena, who appeared to return fire, then fell back. He retreated into the office.
Thinking Pena was hit, officers decided to make their move by storming the building.
But when officers got inside, they realized that Pena, far from being disabled, had managed to retreat into the small, walled office at the front of
the repair bay, and was firing at them through the walls.
The officers advanced toward him, according to Police Lt. Michael Albanese, who oversees the SWAT unit.
He said they held their fire even as bullets whizzed by them, trying to reach the open door of the office so that they could see Pena and the
As they advanced, the officers prepared to launch a flashing device to distract Pena. Just then, a bullet from within the office struck Officer Daniel
Sanchez, 39, through the shoulder.
The other officers pressed forward toward the office's open door, and exchanged gunfire with Pena in the cramped interior.
Pena was felled by one bullet, got up and was shot a second time.
What remains unclear is whether the little girl was already dead when they reached the office, or whether she died with her father in the ensuing
shootout, said Lt. Paul Vernon, a police spokesman.
Pena's family members gave a starkly different account of the toddler's death.
Relatives from both sides of her family said that Pena was an affectionate and involved father. They insisted he would never have harmed his daughter.
They said he would not have used Susie as a human shield, and while they acknowledged that he kept a gun in the auto dealership, they said that he was
trying to surrender when police shot him.
"I don't want an apology. I want justice," said Lorena Lopez, the girl's mother.
Pena's brothers told reporters that he was from El Salvador and had served in that country's military during its civil war.
He came to the U.S. more than a dozen years ago and started the used car and repair shop, but his business had fallen on hard times and he had been
depressed, they said.
Authorities said they don't know of a motive for the events of Sunday. Vernon said that on Saturday, Pena was served with a restraining order related
to a child molestation allegation.
A total of 11 officers fired their weapons during the standoff. A total of more than two dozen officers were involved in the incident.
The officers' actions are being investigated by the Police Department's Force Investigation Division, Bratton said.
The inspector general's office and the district attorney's office will monitor the investigation.
All shootings are referred to the district attorney's office for potential criminal charges, but it falls to the Police Commission to decide whether
a shooting lies within department policy. Investigations typically take several months.
After the police tape was cleared away late Monday, members of both sides of the toddler's family entered the bullet-riddled auto dealership to
search for mementos of their loved ones.
There were dozens of bullet holes in the building -- puncturing doors, walls, even the trash bin in back. Blood-spattered car purchasing contracts
littered the floor, and one relative found a small piece of Susie's hair, and kept it as a remembrance.
They said the toddler was just beginning to talk, and already loved horses.
"My little niece -- she didn't live for very long, but she was beautiful. She was happy," said German Pena.