Brandon Lopez (2021)

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This incident mentions suicide.  If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 for immediate help 24/7.  Outside the U.S., please consult this list of suicide crisis lines.
Anaheim Police Department Critical Incident Briefing

On September 28, 2021, an Anaheim California Police Department officer completed a stolen vehicle report, where the victim knew the subject to be Lopez. The officer ran a check and found that Lopez had outstanding warrants for several armed robberies, domestic violence, and driving on a suspended license. The stolen vehicle was equipped with a GPS tracker and officers located it in Santa Ana. When officers approached Lopez, he led them on a high-speed pursuit through multiple cities. Anaheim police decided to end the ground pursuit and track the vehicle from their helicopter. Santa Ana California Police Department officers reengaged the pursuit, which ended when Lopez's car stalled in a construction zone. Lopez refused police orders to exit the vehicle. A Santa Ana tactical vehicle was used to block Lopez's car and position officers to observe Lopez. During a three-hour standoff, a Santa Ana officer reported seeing a gun in Lopez's hand. The Anaheim SWAT team responded and took control of the scene. Officers were notified by Lopez's family that he intended to commit suicide by cop. The SWAT team deployed a flash-bang and tear gas to force Lopez from the vehicle. When he emerged, police saw an object in his hand that they believed to be a gun. Anaheim officers Catalin Panov, Kenneth Weber, Paul Delgado, and Brett Heitmann fired, killing Lopez.[1][2][3][4]

The California Department of Justice will conduct an independent investigation of the shooting, which is required under state law for officer-involved shootings of unarmed individuals.[5]

On November 23, 2021, Lopez's family filed a claim against the city and officers involved in the shooting. Filing a claim is required before filing a lawsuit.[6]

On November 1, 2023, the state's Department of Justice cleared the officers of any wrong-doing, stating that the officers acted with intent to defend themselves and others.[7][8]


Anaheim patrol and SWAT officers are equipped with body-worn cameras. Some footage is shown in the Incident Briefing.[1]

Officers Involved