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LA County Coroner's Autopsy: Dijon Kizzee Shot 16 Times, At Least Five From Behind

A protest against the killing of Dijon Kizzee. (Josie Huang/LAist)
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The L.A. County Coroner has released its autopsy of Dijon Kizzee, 29, who was shot and killed by two Sheriff’s deputies on Aug. 31.

The autopsy details 16 gunshot wounds, with at least five sustained from behind. “The rapidly fatal injuries include trauma to the heart, lungs, liver and left kidney,” according to the report. The coroner could not determine the direction of one bullet.

The Sheriff's Department had initially placed a security hold on the autopsy, but it lifted it last week, according to the coroner's spokeswoman. The autopsy wasn' finalized until Thursday.

An independent autopsy performed for the Kizzee family found Kizzee was shot 15 times, with seven of those wounds sustained from behind.

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The Sheriff's Department says the deputies fired 19 shots at Kizzee.

Kizzee family attorney Dale Galipo said:

“The official autopsy report confirms the findings of the private autopsy and confirms our theory of the case: that there were too many shots fired and ... many of the shots were fired at the decedent from his rear."

He also said the autopsy supports the idea of “contagious fire,” when one person shooting leads others to do the same.

The deputies had tried to stop Kizzee for allegedly riding his bicycle against traffic. Surveillance video nearby captured some of what happened next. Neither deputy was wearing a body camera; the department is just beginning to outfit the first deputies with cameras this month.

As Kizzee ran away, one deputy caught up to him and they scuffled. The deputies at first said they opened fire when Kizzee “made a motion” towards a gun he had dropped. Later the department said they started shooting when they saw Kizzee pick up the gun.

Kizzee family spokesman Najee Ali vigorously disputed that account, saying "there's no tape or evidence" to show Kizzee had picked up the gun.

"Dijon may have indeed had a weapon, but there's a difference between having a weapon in your possession and having a weapon pointed at Sheriff's deputies," Ali said.

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