Woman Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting After Pointing Fake Gun at Police

The Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Force Investigation Division is examining an officer-involved shooting that took place in the Rampart Division. The incident occurred on February 22, 2023, around 7:55 p.m. when uniformed patrol officers responded to an assault report involving a deadly weapon near Silver Lake Boulevard and Temple Street. The initial call described a Hispanic woman wearing a trench coat pointing a revolver at a passerby.

Upon arriving at the scene, the officers spotted a woman, later identified as Mariela Cardenas, who matched the description from the call and appeared to be armed with a firearm. The officers promptly exited their vehicle and issued verbal commands to Cardenas. However, Cardenas disregarded the officers’ orders and pointed the weapon at them, leading to the officer-involved shooting.

Cardenas was struck by gunfire, apprehended, and subsequently transported to a local hospital by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel. After being taken to the hospital, she was pronounced dead. No officers sustained injuries during the incident.

The investigation revealed that the weapon in Cardenas’ possession was a replica handgun capable of firing metal pellets, containing a CO2 cartridge. LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division arrived at the scene to interview witnesses and oversee the collection of evidence by the Forensic Science Division.

The full investigation will be reviewed by several other authorities to determine its thoroughness and accuracy. Additionally, the review will establish whether the use of deadly force adhered to LAPD’s policies and procedures.