Long Beach
Police Department

Media Relations
400 W. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 570-5273
Homicide detectives are investigating a Sept. 19, 2023 incident which resulted in the death of a male adult
Communications Division

Homicide detectives are investigating an incident that occurred on Sept. 19, 2023, involving a man who attempted to enter an elementary school with a sledgehammer, was confronted by adults, and is now being investigated as a homicide.

At approximately 2:27 p.m., officers first received a call regarding a home invasion robbery in the 6700 block of Orizaba Avenue. Officers responded and were directed by community members to a male adult subject near the school with a sledgehammer. Officers went to the school, McKinley Elementary School, located at 6822 Paramount Boulevard, and found a male adult being detained by a citizen. Officers handcuffed the man, realized he was unresponsive, and immediately began rendering medical aid.

The Long Beach Fire Department responded and determined the man deceased at the scene. The Los Angeles County Department of the Medical Examiner responded to the scene. They will notify next of kin and identify the decedent.

Through their preliminary investigation, officers determined the original calling party on the home invasion was the man with the sledgehammer. They determined the home invasion robbery to be unfounded and falsely reported.

Officers also learned the male subject had climbed a fence and entered the school parking lot with a small sledgehammer. While attempting to enter the school grounds by climbing a second fence, he was pulled down by a male adult.

Through further investigation, Homicide detectives determined that after pulling the man down from the fence, and prior to police officers arriving on scene, two adults punched and kicked the man to disarm and detain him. At some point, the man became unresponsive. This is consistent with video evidence and the preliminary findings of the Medical Examiner’s office who determined the manner of death is homicide.

Homicide detectives detained and interviewed the two male adults. They were not arrested, pending further investigation.

Detectives believe there are additional witnesses who have not come forward and are requesting those individuals contact the Homicide Detail at 562.570.7244.

Detectives are actively reviewing all evidence and anticipate presenting the case to the District Attorney’s office in the future.

A small sledgehammer was recovered at the scene.

Since the decedent was handcuffed, this is being classified as an in-custody death. No force was used by officers. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office was notified of the incident and responded to the scene.

There was an incident near the same elementary school on Sept. 13, 2023, in which a child said she saw a man with a gun. At this time, detectives are actively investigating if there is any connection between the two incidents.

The LBPD has increased police patrols around the McKinley Elementary School area, including the deployment of the Neighborhood Safety Bike Team, to engage with the community.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Homicide Detectives Jesus Espinoza or Alfredo Chairez at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through "LA Crime Stoppers" by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the "P3 Tips" app to your smartphone (available at the Apple app store or Google Play), or by visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org.