Press Release: Thomas Death Investigation - Release of Names


October 9, 2016

For More Information:
LASD SIB: (213) 229-1700
Lt. Vasken Gourdikian: (626) 744-7875


PASADENA, CA – On September 30, 2016, at approximately 2:45 A.M., Pasadena Police Officers responded to a 911 call made by a minor requesting assistance with a family disturbance involving Mr. Thomas, who was armed with a knife and fire extinguisher. 

Officers responded to 252 E. Orange Grove Blvd and encountered Mr. Thomas, who was still armed with the knife and fire extinguisher. Officers ordered Mr. Thomas to drop the knife and fire extinguisher but he refused to comply with their commands. Mr. Thomas retreated back into the occupied apartment and attempted to barricade himself. Pasadena Police officers deployed Tasers, which temporarily incapacitated Mr. Thomas. As a result, a physical altercation ensued between Mr. Thomas and the officers. Officers were eventually able to restrain him inside the apartment. 

Upon restraining Mr. Thomas, the officers observed him not breathing - at which time, they immediately began CPR and life saving measures. The officers at the scene continued CPR until relieved by the Pasadena Fire Department. Despite the efforts of officers and the paramedics, Mr. Thomas died at the scene. 

The following officers responded to the 911 call at the location and were involved in the altercation with Mr. Thomas: Officer Thomas Butler, Officer Robert Griffith, Officer Michael Orosco, Officer Philip Poirier, Officer Raphael Santiago and Officer Aaron Villacana. Shortly after Mr. Thomas had been restrained, Officer Jeffrey Newlen arrived at the location and assisted with CPR. 

Per Pasadena Police Department protocol, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau was asked to investigate the death of Mr. Thomas. Additionally, there will be an independent investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office and an administrative investigation by Pasadena Police Department. 


Posted: 10/11/2016 04:00:00 PM
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