While authorities identified the 35-year-old man shot and killed by police in Seal Beach Dec. 1, investigators have yet to release the details surrounding the shooting.
A Garden Grove police officer shot Matthew Lane of Glendale after Lane allegedly stalked a woman, led police on a car chase and then attempted to carjack a driver at a Seal Beach gas station.
Lt. Jeff Nightengale, a spokesman for the Garden Grove Police Department, confirmed that a weapon was found at the scene of the shooting, but he refused to identify the weapon or say whether Lane threatened the officer or carjacking victim with it.
“We’re just releasing name, age, and city of residence,” said Nightengale.
Nightengale said the investigation is ongoing and “it’s going to be a long time” before more details emerge.
“We will not comment on the details of the incident until after the district attorney’s office is done investigating it,” he said.
The D.A. office could take a year to a year and half to investigate the case, according to Nightengale. Withholding information is common during officer involved shootings investigations, he said.
“Ninety-nine percent of the stuff that happens in one of these things I cannot comment on,” Nightengale said. “We are subject to civil litigation for just about everything we do, so we have to be very careful in a case that may end up a litigated case.”
Nightengale said the department had to make sure they weren't infringing on the rights of either the officer involved or Lane.
“We live in a time where have to be extremely careful about the details that we release,” he added.
The officer involved in the shooting went on administrative leave with pay the night of the incident and returned to work later that week, Nightengale said.
Nightengale would not identify the officer except to say that he was a veteran of the force. Nightengale said department policy dictates that officers involved in shootings be put on administrative leave until the officer and a staff psychologist says the officer is ready for duty again.
According to Nightengale, in 2010, the Garden Grove Police Department had five officer-involved shootings, and the Seal Beach incident was the first in 2012.
The Dec. 1 shooting capped a chase that started in Garden Grove when a woman called to report that her ex-boyfriend was stalking her in violation of a domestic violence restraining order, according to GGPD.
At about 4:30 p.m., police were called to the 5900 block of Huntley Avenue in Garden Grove. It was the third time in the last 24 hours police responded to reports of stalking at the home.
A chase ensued, but the man, who authorities allege was Lane, escaped. Not long after, Seal Beach police began receiving reports of an erratic driver fitting the Lane’s description.
Police from both departments began chasing the suspect, and a minor accident occurred during the pursuit, said Nightengale. Lane allegedly ditched his car in the parking lot by the Hampton Inn at 2401 Westminster near the Boeing campus.
“Our officers were in a short foot pursuit,” Nightengale said. “One of our officers from the City of Garden Grove was involved in that pursuit and came to this gas station where the suspect tried to carjack a vehicle inside the gas station pumping gas“
“Our officer came upon the suspect and the victim and an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Nightengale said that if anyone has information on the incident, they can call GGPD's investigators at 714-741-5800.