(L.A.) Niani Finlayson, 27, Died in a Hospital

Case Number: 2023-16908

Los Angeles County is reporting the death of a 27-year-old Black female that occurred in a hospital.

The coroner’s office has identified the woman as Niani Finlayson.

Manner of Death: Homicide

Cause of Death: Multiple Gunshot Wounds

RIP NIANI FINLAYSON (November 20, 1996 – December 4, 2023)

Formal pronouncement of death was made on Monday at 6:57 p.m.

The decedent was killed by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy at her apartment in Lancaster. She had called 911 to report that she was under attack by a former boyfriend.

Records show the same deputy, Ty Shelton, had killed another person in similar circumstances three years ago. Shelton killed 61-year-old Michael Thomas in June 2020.

Finlayson’s family filed a legal claim against the county and sheriff’s department on December 21, alleging wrongful death, assault and civil rights violations.

You have someone who is calling the police for help, and she gets killed by the police who she’s asking for assistance,” said Bradley Gage, the family’s attorney. “If you call police for help, you think the officers are going to protect and serve you. You don’t expect them to hunt and kill you.


GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/niani-finlayson


LASD Deputy-Involved Shooting (DIS) in the 2100 block of East Avenue J-8, Lancaster.

On December 4, 2023, at 6:08 p.m., Lancaster Station deputies responded to an apartment in the 2100 block of East Avenue J-8 in the city of Lancaster, regarding a domestic violence call. A female called 9-1-1 and reported that her boyfriend would not leave her alone and then screaming and sounds of a struggle could be heard. The female was later identified as 27-year-old Niani Finlayson of Lancaster.

Deputies arrived on scene and approached the front door of the apartment; they could hear people arguing and yelling inside. As they attempted to make forced entry into the apartment, a female adult opened the front door, armed with a large kitchen knife. Finlayson told deputies she was going to stab her boyfriend for pushing her daughter. Finlayson retreated into the apartment toward the area where her boyfriend was sitting.

Deputies entered the apartment, where Finlayson grabbed her boyfriend while holding the knife in an apparent attempt to stab him, and a deputy-involved shooting occurred.

Finlayson was struck by gunfire, fell to the floor, and dropped the knife. Deputies rendered first aid to her until Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics arrived and continued to provide medical aid. Finlayson was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced deceased.
A kitchen knife with an approximate eight-inch blade was recovered at the scene.

There were no other people injured during the incident. The employee involved in the deputy-involved shooting was identified as Deputy Ty Shelton.



This evening, my wife and her son are here standing to honor Sergeant Steve Owen, who my wife worked with in Lancaster and her son Dep. Ty Shelton of Lancaster Station, has known Steve since he was 10 years old.

@LASDHQ #LASD #AV411 #SergeantSteveOwen #811GS #eow

Ty A Shelton = Ty Anthony Shelton

Ty Shelton is the son of Kim Britt (Kim Shelton, Kim Brink) who is currently married to Burton “Burt” Brink. Both are retired LASD deputies. His mother was a sergeant.

The decedent had been employed as a janitor at the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Youth Activity Center, which houses the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station Youth Activity League, a venue that offers to local children organized sports activities, tutoring, and an opportunity to interact with adults in a safe and secure environment. The Sheriff’s Department operates ten Youth Activity Leagues throughout the County.