A man originally from Washington was shot and killed in West Hollywood Monday by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies who thought he was a stabbing suspect, the sheriff’s department said today.
John Winkler, 30, a West Hollywood resident, was held captive at knifepoint with two other men inside the suspect’s apartment about 9:30 p.m. Monday, according to the sheriff’s department. Winkler and one of the men were visiting a friend, who was a roommate of the suspect, identified by the department as Alexander McDonald. McDonald began stabbing the men as deputies arrived.
Responding deputies were directed to an apartment where the suspect with the knife was said to be and told there were only two men in the apartment. Witnesses described the suspect as a white male with a thin build and wearing a black shirt. Deputies announced themselves at the front door but heard no response. As they continued to contact the people inside, “the apartment door suddenly opened and a male victim came rushing out,” according to a news release. “He was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from the neck.”
Winkler ran out of the door and lunged at the back of the other victim as they both ran directly at the deputies. Three deputies shot at Winkler, and he fell to the ground. The other man was also struck and fell. Winkler was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Winkler had moved to California to pursue a career in TV production six months ago. He attended the Seattle Film Institute, where he was a well-liked, good student, communications director Chris Blanchett said.
He definitely had the personality type of someone well-suited to be a producer,” Blanchett said today. “He was a genuinely nice guy.”