Friends and family held a candlelight vigil Saturday evening for a 19-year-old man who was shot and killed by Long Beach police.
Investigators said the officers thought Tyler Damon Woods was armed and preparing to fire on them.
The incident that led to Woods’ death began about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, when the officers pulled over a vehicle near the intersection of Nebraska Avenue and 4th street, authorities said.
“As they were conducting the traffic stop, one of the individuals in the car took off running,” said Deputy Police Chief Robert Luna. “Based on the information that was taken from the passengers, it was determined that the suspect was wanted for carjacking, he’s armed and dangerous.”
After setting up a perimeter in the area, police reportedly spotted Woods running across several rooftops.
“I was hearing thumps on my rooftop,” said witness Mitchell Godinez. “I don’t know how in the world you could climb a three-story building.”
Woods was eventually cornered on the roof of an apartment complex, where he took a kneeling position and began to turn towards the officers, police said.
“The officers discharged their weapons, believing the suspect was about to fire on them,” according to a statement issued by the Long Beach Police Department. Woods was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I opened my window and the first thing I heard was, ‘Come out with your hands up or we’re going to shoot,’” said Paul Ravelin, who lives in the neighborhood. “Maybe four or five minutes later: boom, boom, boom, boom, boom – a lot of gunfire. And then a little pause for a couple of minutes. Boom, boom, boom.”
At the vigil on Saturday, friends and family members said the shooting was unjustified.
“So many cops, they didn’t have to do him like that, for one person. He was surrendering,” said Trejon Woods, the suspect’s sister, as she choked back tears. “You don’t do that to a human.”
A demonstration was planned for 11 a.m. Sunday, when supporters of Tyler Woods say they will march from the scene of the shooting to Long Beach police headquarters.