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Lejoy Grissom, 27
Los Angeles, California
April 25, 2010

Agencies: Culver City Police Department - California

Last updated: 9 months ago

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Lejoy Grissom, a 27-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a Culver City police officer Sunday, April 25, at Motor Avenue and Venice Boulevard in Palms, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Grissom was shot after police officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at an electronics store about 12:15 p.m., according to L.A. County Sheriff's Department officials who are investigating his death. According to witnesses, the robber brandished a chrome handgun and fled the location with merchandise from the store.

While patrolling the area, a Culver City police officer saw a car driving unusually and noticed that the passenger, Grissom, matched the description given of the suspected electronics store robber, officials said.

Moments after Grissom got out of the vehicle, Officer Luis Martinez fired three rounds from a submachine gun, all of which struck Grissom, Galipo said.

The other officers at the scene all testified that Grissom was facing the officers and had nothing in his hands when he was shot, the attorneys said.

Martinez, however, claimed that Grissom had his back to the officers and suddenly spun around toward them with a shiny object in his hand that appeared to be a gun, according to the attorneys.

Grissom was found to be unarmed, McNicholas said.

Each of Grissom's children was awarded $2 million and the jury added $825,000 in additional compensation.

"I'm thrilled for his four children and hope this verdict helps them through the rest of their lives," McNicholas said.

Galipo added that the case was complicated by the fact that police suspected Grissom of committing a rash of armed robberies and that he had, in fact, robbed the electronics store that day.

Investigators said the officer pulled the car over. While getting Grissom and the female driver to exit the car, the officer fired his weapon, fatally wounding Grissom, they said.

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