Off-duty LAPD officer, passenger killed in Northridge crash; DUI suspect in critical condition

Police Officer II Darrell Cunningham
Los Angeles Police Officer Darrell Cunningham Shamily was killed in a car crash while off-duty Saturday. (LAPD)

An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer and his front-seat passenger were killed in a car crash early Saturday after a drunk driving suspect sped through a red light in Northridge and slammed into their vehicle, authorities said.

Officer Darrell Cunningham Shamily, a four-year veteran of the department in his early 30s, and the unidentified passenger were killed in the crash that occurred about 1:15 a.m. near Roscoe Boulevard and Lindley Avenue, police said during a news conference Saturday. An off-duty San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy, who was riding in the backseat of Cunningham Shamily's car, was also injured and transported to a hospital.

“These were all individuals who were known to each other as lifelong friends,” said LAPD Chief Michel Moore, who called the incident an act of "senseless violence" by the driver of the other vehicle. He said the department would do everything possible to support Cunningham Shamily's "fiancée, two young boys, mom & two brothers.”

Brian David Oliveri, 20, the driver of the other vehicle, was injured in the crash and was transported to a hospital, police said. Based on preliminary evidence, it is suspected that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision, police said.

Oliveri is expected to be arrested and charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, Moore said.

He is believed to have been driving his black BMW at more than 100 mph down Roscoe Boulevard when he ran a red light at Lindley Avenue and crashed into Cunningham Shamily's white Infinity, which was traveling northbound on Lindley, police said.

Oliveri’s passenger, an unidentified female in the front seat, was able to exit the vehicle on her own, police said.

“All others were trapped because of the force and the level of damage created by this horrific collision,” Moore said. L.A. Fire Department personnel were able to free Oliveri and the San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy in the other vehicle using the Jaws of Life. One the vehicles sheared off a fire hydrant in the crash, the fire department reported.

All three survivors of the crash suffered a number of injuries and are being treated at a nearby hospital, police said. Oliveri was in critical condition.

The sheriff's deputy was being treated for a broken hip and other injuries; the woman's condition was not immediately known. Both were expected to survive.

Cunningham Shamily and another passenger died at the scene.

Cunningham Shamily, who worked the overnight shift at LAPD'S West L.A. station, was a “hardworking, honest, a person you can go to get the job done, with a great attitude,” Moore said. “As a department we’re grieving today, but we will work through this and will hold the line, and we’ll work in tribute to the reputation that he held and the work that he did in protecting the citizens of this great city.”

Moore said that he did not consider a suspected DUI crash to be an accident. “You don't drive down Roscoe Boulevard at over 100 mph through a red trilight as an accident. That’s willful and gross negligence and criminality, in the sense of reverence for other people's lives,” he said.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.