California authorities have acknowledged that the 23-year-old father shot and killed by Los Angeles County deputies was unarmed, causing an outcry among friends and family about the lack of answers and attention.
According to KTLA, Ryan Twyman was sitting in a car with another man in a South Los Angeles neighborhood on June 6 when deputies from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department approached the vehicle and opened fire, killing Twyman on the scene and leaving the other person uninjured.
No firearm was found on the scene.
That’s all we know.
The Sheriff’s department issued a similar statement with the same information, only adding the comforting news that no deputies were injured. Witnesses say cops fired more than 30 shots, according to KTLA’s Marissa Wenzke and Nerissa Knight, who wrote:
But many questions remain unanswered as the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner has still not released its findings.
Meanwhile, multiple witnesses have recalled seeing two deputies approach the parked car before shooting several times.
“The police opened the door, and said he had a gun and just started shooting. Never asked him his name—nothing. Just started shooting,” said one witness, who would not give his name.
Another witness, who also wished to speak anonymously, said deputies said little before they started shooting: “One officer goes up to the door, starts firing, never identified himself as the police ... still unloading on the car 30 rounds.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that Twyman was one of three men killed by the L.A. sheriff’s deputies that day but the killing has not garnered much national media attention, much to the dismay of Los Angeles activists, residents, and celebrities. While investigators remain tight-lipped, speculation has surfaced about the number of times officers fired on the deceased father of three.
“Another young black man taken away from his children at the hands of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department,” wrote hip-hop artist The Game. “This is a sick pattern & happens way too often these days. A father, a son, a brother, a human. 37 bullets & for what ?!?!?”
“I think everything is destroyed,” said Twyman’s girlfriend Davielle Johnson. “Everything is ruined. Our plans, our life, our kids’ life.”
Twyman was killed three days before his 24th birthday.