Brian Newt Beaird, a 51-year-old white man, was shot and killed by police in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 13, 2013, after leading authorities on high-speed chase through South Los Angeles that ended when he crashed his silver Corvette.
Beaird, of Oceanside, was pronounced dead at California Hospital Medical Center at about 11:13 p.m., said Los Angeles coroner’s Capt. John Kades.
The pursuit began about 9:30 p.m. when L.A. County sheriff’s deputies apparently tried to stop Beaird, for driving recklessly.
Beaird finally crashed his silver Corvette into another car near Olympic Boulevard and Los Angeles Street about 10:30 p.m., following an hour-long pursuit that wound through South Gate, Huntington Park and South L.A., police said.
Three LAPD officers fired an estimated 22 times at Brian Beaird, who was unarmed. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has put the officers on extended leave pending a final investigation, saying he was “very concerned” by the incident.
Beaird’s father and brother stood outside LAPD headquarters a week after the shooting to announce that they had filed a $20-million claim against the city, a legal precursor required when suing a California government entity. An attorney for the Beaird family said that if the city doesn’t reach an agreement, the family would pursue a federal wrongful-death suit.
Bill Beaird described his youngest son as a disabled veteran who was discharged from the National Guard in 1988 after a botched surgery on a brain tumor. The surgery left his son with brain trauma, Beaird said. He could be paranoid, his father said, particularly about police.
John Beaird, the oldest of Bill Beaird’s four sons, said his youngest brother “made a lot of bad decisions that day.” But, he said, the officers should not have shot him.
“I can only imagine how terrified and alone he was in the last moments of his life,” he said.
An investigation into the shooting is underway. The department, which often provides written explanations for police shootings, has provided few details in the case.
Three Los Angeles police officers violated department rules for using deadly force when they fatally shot an unarmed man following a high-speed chase last year, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has found.
Beck rejected the officers’ claims that they opened fire because they feared that their lives were in danger.
“The preponderance of the evidence does not independently support [the officers’] perceptions that a deadly threat was present,” Beck wrote in a recently released report. The Dec. 13, 2013, shooting drew national attention after local news programs televised it live.
The suspect, Brian Newt Beaird, had turned and was moving away from officers when the three opened fire, according to the video footage. Beaird was hit by 15 shots. The three bullets that mostly likely killed Beaird, a 51-year-old National Guard veteran, struck him from behind, the report said.
As the investigation was ongoing, city officials signaled in April that they did not believe there was a plausible justification for the decision to fire on Beaird when they agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the man’s family.
Beaird, 51, died at California Hospital Medical Center about 11:15 p.m., less than an hour after the pursuit ended, according to the Los Angeles Times. An autopsy has not confirmed the cause of death.