Comer guilty of involuntary manslaughter in death of Cameron Lamb, a rival drug dealer who was injured in an attack by Comer and the LAPD gang unit a year ago
A detective was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a criminal rival who was hit by bullets while injured in a hail of police gunfire that erupted after an exchange of gunfire with two other officers in south-central Los Angeles.
Comer was convicted Monday in the shooting of Cameron Lamb, who was not the subject of the internal investigation that led to Comer’s indictment. Lamb was driving his car at the time, with officers in pursuit, but he was also wounded in the shooting.
Comer faces up to three years in jail and 20 years probation, and he will be sentenced on 27 February. Prosecutors had recommended no prison time for the 29-year-old, saying the two other officers involved had committed similar crimes and should be held accountable for Lamb’s death.
During the past year, Lamb’s family have endured many delays and complications with the trial, even after Lamb’s father pleaded to the judge to stay trial so they could attend.
Officers pumped 60 rounds into Lamb’s car. One fired four shots into the passenger-side headrest, two into the back seat and another in the rear-seat floorboard, one of which grazed the head of a six-year-old child in the back seat. One officer fired five shots from his handgun and one from a 9mm pistol loaded with 20 rounds.
Comer, the only one of the four officers to actually fire his gun, admitted to firing the fatal shot, saying he was concerned about ensuring the safety of his partner and saw Lamb drop his gun and ditch the injured child as the vehicle fled.
Comer, who told prosecutors he had heard the teen go limp in the backseat, saw Lamb reach for a handgun that his wife had stashed under the car and shot him repeatedly.
Comer’s attorney, Andrew Thomas, maintains the shooting was justified because Lamb fled armed and in car, and Comer did not initially see the young child. But prosecutors said Lamb was an active, documented criminal, and they presented evidence of two shootings committed by Lamb with a loaded gun, each of which resulted in injuries to another person.
Comer testified he fired after Lamb dropped his gun, rolling onto the backseat floorboard. He did not know he was shooting an injured child.
Comer has been on paid leave since the shooting, but he was pulled from his deployment to the Eagle Pass area in Texas, where he is assigned to the border patrol, after the indictment last year.
“If it weren’t for Cameron Lamb and his family, I wouldn’t have the job I have today,” the detective said in court.