The will conduct its own internal investigation into the shooting death of .
An internal affairs unit will determine whether the police officers handled the situation safely and if the use of force was necessary. According to Sgt. Richard Lewis, there will also be an investigation into whether officers violated any department policies, or if more training is needed.
"What happens anytime there's a use of force is there is an internal investigaton," he said.
Police and the department of Fish and Game have defended killing the 75-pound mountain lion just one block from the , saying it was in the best interest of public safety, after attempts to tranquilize it and contain it to a courtyard on Second Street were unsuccessful.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles is calling for a separate investigation "into the procedures and training protocols required for safely interacting [with] and subduing wildlife," said President Madeline Bernstein.
“Basically, they agitated and frightened a cornered cat before they killed her,” Bernstein said. “Hosing a mountain lion down and then shooting her with pepper-balls only served to make her more frenzied. Deadly force should be used only as a last resort. The citizens and wildlife of California deserve better.”
Lewis said the SCPA Los Angeles is misinformed about some of the tactics it used to subdue the 3-year-old mountain lion.
A maintenance worker called police about 6 a.m. Tuesday and said the cat was in the courtyard of a building on Second Street, south of Wilshire Boulevard.
"It was docile when we got there," Lewis said. "But at some point, we have to get him out of there, we have to tranquilize him."
According to Lewis, the juvenile became agitated after it was shot once with a tranquilizer dart. That agitated the lion, which then attempted to charge through the courtyard's doors, managing to shatter some of the glass. When spraying the doors with water from fire hoses and firing pepper balls at the mountain lion didn't work to calm him, officers fired less than four gun shots.
A second tranquilizer could have killed the animal, Lewis said, noting that the officers on scene feared the cat could jump back over the glass doors.
"We can't have that cat running through downtown," Lewis said. "When it runs away from us at 15 mph we can't control what it does."