Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies fired 19 shots and hit Dijon Kizzee 15 times before he died, an independent autopsy has found. The 29-year-old Black man was gunned down by officers last month after they chased him over an alleged cycling violation.
“He did not die instantly; he was writhing on the ground in pain when officers opened up on him,” an attorney for Kizzee’s family Carl Douglas said. According to CNN, Kizzee was struck by seven shots on his back, arms and hands. The fatal shot struck his lung.
“You can tell by the audio of the shooting that there were three or four shots, and then a pause, and 15 additional shots,” Douglas said.
Dr. John Hiserod, who conducted the autopsy, found that Kizzee bled to death and passed away after his lungs filled with blood. In a statement, Douglas claimed deputies continued to shoot at Kizzee even while he was writhing around in pain on the ground.
“The deputies who fired their weapons called for back-up and spent several critical minutes waiting for back-up to arrive, while Dijon was bleeding to death in the street,” the attorney said. “The independent autopsy supports my contention that this shooting was an execution, plain and simple.”
According to the LASD, deputies attempted to stop Kizzee while he was riding a bike over an alleged vehicle code violation. The man abandoned his bike and took off running and the officers pursued him. Deputies claimed that Kizzee punched one of them as they attempted to arrest him, though this has been contested by witnesses. During the scuffle, deputies say Kizzee dropped a jacket and handgun. They then opened fire, shooting at Kizzee 19 times.
Last week, LASD investigators claimed Kizzee had bent over to retrieve the gun before deputies opened fire, which is different from the deputies’ original statements. Several witnesses and activists had pointed out the fact that Kizzee was disarmed and questioned why deputies still shot at him. Neither of the two deputies were wearing body cameras and the only video from the incident was taken from a nearby house.
“He was shot 19 times and I can care less what Sheriff Villanueva said seeking to justify that lack of humanity,” Douglas said. “Nineteen times of firing into a man’s body says to me that there’s been poor training.”
Earlier this month, Kizzee’s death was ruled a homicide by the L.A. County medical examiner.