Man having mental health crisis shot by LAPD officers, family seeking answers

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

LOS ANGELES – A family is seeking answers after their son, who suffers from mental health issues, was shot and killed by officers.

On the morning of May 2, Yong Yang’s parents called the LA County Department of Mental Health (DMH) after their 40-year-old son was acting erratically. 

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, DMH determined Yang was a danger to others and advised officers they were placing him on a 72-hour mental evaluation hold. Apparently, DMH called police to the scene. 

Police say they made attempts to communicate with Yang and encouraged him to exit his parent’s apartment. The department says officers used a key to enter the apartment and announced their presence. They soon saw Yang in the living room armed with a large kitchen knife. According to the department, Yang advanced toward officers and an officer-involved shooting occurred. Yang was shot and died at the scene.


He reportedly suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

“The police did not tell us they killed our son until over an hour later. They wouldn’t let us see his body and say goodbye,” said his mother Ming Sook Yang. 

The family’s attorney claims the officers shot him four times and did not render aid or call an ambulance. 

“We don’t know what is going on with the body cameras. We haven’t seen any yet. We have reason to believe that the body cameras were not in use,” attorney Robert Sheahen said during a press conference alongside the family Thursday. 

Police say an 11-inch kitchen knife with a six-inch blade was recovered at the scene.

His parents had called mental health services many times over the years and two times in the two weeks prior to the fatal encounter with police.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.