Afterwards, police charge man’s attacker with murder

Adan Salazar
April 11, 2014

Giving an object lesson in “shoot first, ask questions later,” officers of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department have confessed they were responsible for the shooting death of an aspiring television production assistant, and not the knife-wielding lunatic who had held him hostage.

Police shot and killed John Winkler, 30, Monday night as he tried to flee an apartment where he and two others were being stabbed and held hostage. Winkler later died in the hospital due to his injuries.

“The apartment door suddenly opened and a male victim came rushing out,” the department explained in a statement Thursday. “He was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from the neck. Simultaneously, victim Winkler ran out of the door, lunging at the back of the fleeing victim.”

“Believing Winkler was the assailant and the assault was ongoing and he would attack the entry team, three deputies fired their duty weapons at him,” the statement goes on.

John Winkler, via Facebook
John Winkler, via Facebook
According to reports, Winkler had gone to an apartment near his abode to investigate blood-curdling screams. As he ventured into the apartment, he encountered two people being held hostage by one of his neighbors, 27-year-old Alexander McDonald, who was using a knife to assail his victims.

Police say no one responded when they “announced themselves” outside of the apartment.

“The door suddenly burst open and a bloodied man came out,” reports the Los Angeles Times, at which point police fired. After gunning Winkler down, police said they could hear people fighting inside the apartment. They entered and stopped McDonald, who was reportedly on the floor choking someone.

Even though police were the ones responsible for shooting and ultimately killing Winkler, they’ve moved to charge McDonald with his murder, along with two counts of attempted murder and one charge of torture. His bail has been set at $4.12 million.

“’I have no doubt the entire Sheriff’s Department mourns the death of John Winkler, none more than the deputies involved,” Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott said at a news conference Thursday.

“It’s just a really sad story,” Winkler’s friend Devin Richardson lamented to The Times. “He basically went to help some neighbors and ends up getting shot.”

Winkler had recently moved from Washington state to Hollywood where he was working on the Comedy Central show Tosh.0, a Comedy Central spokesperson stated.

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