A man shot and killed in gunfire with Los Angeles law enforcement on Tuesday has been identified as the half brother of a man who was found hanged from a tree in California last week.
His half brother, Robert Fuller, was found hanging from a tree in front of the City Hall in Palmdale on June 10. Local authorities initially ruled the death an apparent suicide, however the death is now the subject of further inquiries by local, state and federal investigators.
The man shot by police, who has been identified in a criminal complaint and had his identity confirmed by family members to NBC, has not had his name publicly released by local authorities, who say they are in the process of contacting his next of kin.
A Los Angeles Police Lieutenant told media on Wednesday that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives stopped a suspect driving in Rosamond on Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping, spousal assault and assault with a deadly weapon. They said during the traffic stop the suspect fired a weapon at officers.
“This is an incident in and of itself,” the lieutenant told reporters when asked about possible racial tensions surrounding the shooting. “We’ll look at the facts of this incident, not every other incident that’s gone along.”
The man shares a mother with Robert Fuller. Mr Fuller’s death was initially ruled an apparent suicide by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, but the circumstances of his death have come under intense scrutiny, after his family members insisted he was “not suicidal”.
Critics have urged further investigation, saying Mr Fuller’s death, and three other similar deaths, could be racially motivated lynchings.
Five days after the discovery of Mr Fuller’s body, the FBI along with the US attorney’s officer from the Central District of California and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division all announced they were monitoring the ongoing investigations into the young man’s death.
The Fuller family hired a lawyer to represent them and ordered an independent autopsy. An autopsy from the state is still pending.
Further alarm has been raised after reports linked the death to that of African-American Malcolm Harsh. The 38-year-old African-American man was found hanging from a tree in nearby Victorville ten days earlier.