The Los Angeles, California affiliate for NBC reports that Binh Van Nguyen was shot and killed by police in Santa Ana, California. The incident occurred on Friday, January 11, 2013. It was around 12:45 in the morning. The decedent was 39 years old. He had multiple previous arrests, with the most serious being assault with a deadly weapon. But the report did not say whether he had been convicted on that charge.
The scene of the shooting was near the intersection of Maxine and Third. They say that is a high-crime neighborhood frequented by many prostitutes.
Police say that Binh Van Nguyen was in the back seat of the vehicle as cops approached him to ask what he was doing in that neighborhood. They say he then suddenly leapt to the front seat and started to drive for the officers in an attempt to hit them. I am having trouble visualizing this, so it’s hard to analyze whether we have a justified shooting. If they were approaching him and next to the car, how in the world could he be driving towards them? Were they standing out in front of the car? Why would you just stand out in front of a car if someone is driving forward? That’s not to say that the police were not justified in shooting and killing Binh Van Nguyen. But we need more information to understand exactly what happened. At this point, facts in the NBC report are not illustrative.