Bodycam video shows police in deadly shootout with suspect who shot cop in front of police station

ByLeanne Suter KABC logo
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Bodycam video shows La Habra police in deadly shootout
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Authorities have released dramatic new bodycam video of a deadly gunfight between officers and a suspect in front of the La Habra police station.

LA HABRA, Calif. -- Authorities have released dramatic new bodycam video of a deadly gunfight between officers and a suspect in front of a southern California police station in La Habra.

The video shows the suspect with little warning or provocation pull a handgun from his waist and shoot an officer twice, hitting him in the body before another officer returned fire, striking the suspect with three of her five rounds.

The suspect, later identified as Matthew-Tuan Anh Tran, 22, was soon pronounced dead.

The officer who was shot was injured after one of Tran's bullets apparently went through his bulletproof vest and hit him in the upper chest. He spent a week in the hospital and later recovered at home.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office reviewed the shooting and determined the officer who shot Tran acted in a "reasonable and justified" manner under the circumstances.

According to a narrative provided by the OCDA here is how the incident unfolded:

On Aug. 6, 2021 around 7 p.m., a woman called 911 concerned about a person she did not know following and tailgating her on the 5 Freeway as she drove home from work. The other driver was following her with every turn and lane change she made. She was advised to pull in front of the La Habra police station on North Euclid Street.

The other driver, in a 1998 Toyota Camry, continued following her and parked behind her at the police station, then got out of his car and started trying to enter the front lobby of the building.

The lobby was closed but soon two officers arrived and started to talk to the man, later identified as Tran.

He said he was trying to see someone inside the building. As one officer took a few steps back, the video shows Tran pull a gun and fire.

The second officer quickly returned fire, shooting five rounds. The suspect fell to the ground but still had his gun in his hand. The officer repeatedly shouted at him to drop his weapon or she would continue to fire.

In the meantime, other officers eventually arrived and provided assistance.

They were able to approach Tran, remove his weapon and pull him out onto the sidewalk to place him in handcuffs. Paramedics arrived a short time later and attempted to provide medical assistance but he had been shot in the head and did not have a pulse.

An autopsy determined Tran had also been shot in the right torso and right thigh.

The officer who was shot immediately fell to the ground in obvious pain. After the second officer returned fire at Tran, she is heard asking him "Are you OK?" He can be heard replying "No!"

Tran's weapon was described as a fabricated Glock-style 9mm semi-automatic pistol with no serial number which was apparently considered a "ghost gun."

Autopsy results show Tran had amphetamine, marijuana and methamphetamine in his system.

Full video of this incident can be viewed on YouTube here.