On Monday, March 30, 2020, at approximately 2:00 p.m., officers were dispatched to Martin Luther King Park at 1950 Lemon Avenue, in response to a shooting call, which subsequently resulted in an officer-involved shooting. Responding officers were told that subjects in the park were shooting at each other. Dispatch also advised officers that a subject involved in the shooting was leaving on a bicycle and was heading towards the area of 19th Street and Orange Ave, which is north of Martin Luther King Park.
Officers did not locate anyone involved in the shooting at the park and began searching the area for any suspects or victims from the shooting. A responding unit saw a male adult suspect matching the description, given by dispatch, on a bicycle north of Martin Luther King Park in the 1200 block of Leigh Court. Believing the suspect may have been involved in the shooting at the park, the officer attempted to detain the suspect by giving him verbal commands. The suspect did not comply and fled on foot. The officer chased the suspect while continuing to give him verbal commands, which the suspect ignored. During the foot chase the suspect pointed a gun at the officer and fired multiple times, the officer returned fire, striking the suspect in the upper torso.
The involved officer and assisting officers immediately rendered first-aid to the suspect until Long Beach Fire Department personnel arrived and transported the suspect to a local hospital where he is listed in critical but stable condition. The firearm, believed to be used by the suspect, was located at the scene. No officers were injured during the shooting. The suspect has been identified as Robert Welch, a 21-year-old resident of Long Beach.
As with all officer-involved shooting incidents, the Department will be conducting a full and thorough multi-level review of the incident. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will conduct an independent investigation of the incident, as they do with all officer-involved shootings that result in injury or death.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Long Beach Police Homicide Detectives Michael Hubbard and Leticia Gamboa at (562) 570-7244. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org