© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Coroner Identifies Homeless Man On Skid Row Killed By LAPD

This 2000 photo provided by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office shows a man identified as Charley Saturmin Robinet after his arrest for robbery. Robinet was a stolen identity. The man was identified this week as Charley Leundeu Keunang.

A homeless man shot and killed in a confrontation with police has been identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office as 43-year-old Charley Leundeu Keunang. Relatives confirmed his identity. He is believed to originally be from Cameroon.

Keunang was shot and killed by LAPD officers Sunday on skid row, which is home to thousands of people with mental illness and substance abuse problems.

The shooting attracted national attention after questions were raised over the police officers' use of force.

The officers were responding to a robbery call when the confrontation with Keunang occurred. There was a struggle, and multiple shots were fired. Police say Keunang had gotten hold of one of the officers' guns during the struggle. The incident was caught on video by at least two bystanders.

As authorities were investigating the shooting, they discovered the victim was the subject of a federal warrant related to a probation violation, and that he was living under a stolen identity.

Keunang was using the name Charley Saturmin Robinet. He was convicted of a bank robbery in 2000 in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

French officials confirmed this week to the Los Angeles Times that the real Charley Robinet is "alive and well in France." The paper reportsKeunang used Robinet's identity to acquire a French passport to come to the U.S. in the late 1990s.

The coroner's office says Keunang died of multiple gunshot wounds and ruled his death a homicide. That is a routine classification by the office when a person is killed by someone else.

Three investigations are underway into the shooting. Police Chief Charlie Beck says a full investigation will determine whether the use of force was necessary.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Doreen McCallister
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.