A Burbank police officer shot a man this week while responding to a report that a young boy was wandering around a hotel parking lot unsupervised, the department said. The man later died from the gunshot at a trauma center.
he BPD received a notice on Monday at about 4:45 a.m. that an 8-year-old boy was in the Quality Inn parking lot. After officers found the child, they then met the man determined to be his stepfather, whom police identified as David William Kahler of Las Vegas, Nevada, who was sitting inside a vehicle.
The boy allegedly witnessed the shooting, Heather Kahler, David’s wife and the boy’s mother, told the Burbank Leader.
Meanwhile, the police department said video evidence and witness and officer reports show Kahler pointed a loaded firearm at an officer, who then shot the man. It was not clear as of the Leader’s press time what prompted the confrontation.
Kahler was taken to a local trauma center, but died there, according to the department. The BPD said on Thursday that evidence gathered thus far shows Kahler did not fire his handgun. Neither the officers nor the child was injured from the shooting.
The child was taken into protective custody and has been reunited with his mother in Nevada, the BPD reported. The boy was with Kahler with the permission of the mother.
Kahler’s stepson was “in the area” at the time of the shooting, according to BPD spokesman Sgt. Emil Brimway. However, Heather Kahler went further, telling the Leader that the child witnessed the shooting.
The BPD said Kahler was on probation in Nevada and had an “extensive criminal history” that included burglary, domestic violence, narcotics violations and theft.
But Heather Kahler, who said she was coming to Burbank today to see David’s body, insisted that many of those charges were dismissed. Her husband was on probation for a theft-related incident, she told the Leader, and the domestic violence charge stemmed from a fight he had with his father years ago. Since the news of David Kahler’s death broke this week, she’s heard some people falsely accuse him of being abusive, Heather said, and she wanted to clarify he never harmed her or her children.
“They made it sound like he’s a thug,” Heather Kahler said. “That is not David. He’s a teddy bear. He’s so sweet. This is the same guy who buys me flowers every week.”
Heather Kahler said she and David were married on New Year’s Day. She describes him as a kind family man who often told their two children that he was still a kid, too, and wanted to live forever.
“That was my whole future,” she said. “I was banking on that. We had it planned out and he’s gone. I can’t understand. I’m angry. I’m so freaking angry.”
Heather Kahler said the family was traveling along the West Coast but she and her daughter returned to Las Vegas after hearing their pets were missing.
Body camera footage captured the shooting, Brimway said, and only one officer fired his weapon.
Heather Kahler said she wants to see that footage, though since the investigation is ongoing it is not publicly available.
“I know what they’re telling me, and I know what my son’s telling me, but I want to see the footage myself,” she added. “I can’t make what they’re telling me happened [make sense]. I can’t make that compute with the man I know.”
Brimway said the last time Burbank officers fired their weapons was in 2016, when they shot an armed man in a McDonald’s, who later shot himself. The last time officers fatally shot someone, he added, was in 2003. In that incident, a gunfight in the parking lot of a Ramada Inn, a man was killed after he and his companion shot at police from their vehicle.
One officer also died from the injuries he received during that shooting, marking the first time a Burbank officer was killed in the line of duty.
Per standard procedure, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is conducting a separate investigation.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Burbank Police Department Investigations Division at (818) 238-3210.