Deputies shot and killed a man in Southern California, and the incident was apparently caught on video. KTLA and other local broadcasters posted the video online, and it later went viral (WARNING: graphic content):
Police said they shot at the suspect, identified as Nicholas Robertson, 28, after he fired a weapon into the air. He fired between six and seven shots on a residential street before walking into a shopping district.
“He was holding a silver semiautomatic handgun on his left hand,” witness Juan Roberto, 18, told the Los Angeles Times. “The gun looked as if it was empty.”
“He sounded angry about something,” Roberto added. “I don’t understand English that much but I know that he wasn’t making sense.”
Capt. Steve Katz of the sheriff’s homicide unit said Robertson was acting erratically and entered at least one business.
“Public safety was critical here,” he said, adding that there were people on the street, including some at a gas station where Robertson was walking to.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released a statement, saying that “detectives are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding” the shooting that took place on Long Beach Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue, Lynwood, on Saturday, Dec. 12.
When officers responded, “witnesses in the immediate area said they saw the suspect turn and point the gun at the deputies prior to the shooting,” the office added. ” The suspect was struck by gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene,” it said. “The suspect’s weapon, a loaded .45 caliber handgun, was recovered at the scene.”
“I want to assure the public that the Sheriff’s Department takes deputy involved shootings very seriously and that this investigation will be handled with the utmost professionalism and integrity. We are working closely with our criminal justice system partners as well as members of the public to put together the most comprehensive and accurate account of exactly what occurred,” Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement.