An innocent man was gunned down by police who mistook him for a suspect in a stabbing.
Josh Winkler, 30, was shot by L.A. County Sheriff's deputies who mistook him for a stabbing suspect. At the time of the incident, Winkler was trying help some people who were being held at knifepoint at a neighbor's apartment. According to KTLA, Winkler was being held hostage with two other men when deputies arrived on the scene. When police arrived, the suspect began stabbing the hostages and that's when Winkler and another man ran.
The deputy-involved shooting occurred after a report of a "assault with a deadly weapon, man with a knife" at an apartment complex in the 900 block of Palm Avenue, a call that came in about 9:30 p.m. Monday, the news release stated. When deputies got to the apartment, Winkler came running out, "lunging at the back" of another man also fleeing, the release said.
[Winkler] rushed out of an apartment behind another victim who was bleeding profusely from the neck and covered in blood, when deputies fired on both men, according to a sheriff's news release.
"Both ran directly at the deputies," the release said. "Believing Winkler was the assailant and the assault was ongoing and he would attack the entry team; three deputies fired their duty weapons at him." Both men were hit by gunfire. Winkler was a thin, white man wearing a black shirt and he matched a description of the stabber provided by witnesses, according to the release.
Winkler was taken to a local hospital where he died as a result of his injuries. Friends mourned him on his Facebook page, flooding it with messages. Winkler was an aspiring producer, who worked in television:
Winkler had moved to West Hollywood from Washington state within the last year and had recently been hired as a producer on the comedy show "Tosh.0," the Los Angeles Times reported, citing Winkler's friend Devin Richardson
"It's just a really sad story," Richardson said.
A second man aside from Winkler was also shot by deputies. He is currently in stable condition. Another victim was treated for stab wounds and released.
According to The Wrap, the suspect in stabbing has been charged, apparently with Winkler's murder:
Stabbing suspect Alexander McDonald has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of torture, to which he pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Thursday in Los Angeles. Bail was initially set at $2 million and raised to $4.1 million.
— KTLA (@KTLA) April 11, 2014
Image via Facebook.