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Cellphone Video Shows Fatal Police Shooting in Moreno Valley; Witness Describes Confrontation

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Cellphone video provided to KTLA on Thursday showed the final moments of a deadly confrontation between Moreno Valley police and a man accused of attacking an officer hours earlier.

Cellphone video captured the moment when the man was fatally shot by authorities on July 16, 2015.

Cellphone video captured the moment when the man was fatally shot by authorities on July 16, 2015.

The incident began about 3 a.m. Thursday when officers with the Moreno Valley Police Department responded to a call from a parent reporting a mentally ill man assaulting a family member in the 25000 block of Fir Avenue, said Deputy Michael Vasquez, a spokesman for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

As officers attempted to talk to the man, he attacked one of them with a large metal hand tool, a news release from the Sheriff's Department stated.

The injured officer was transported to the hospital with injuries that were described as moderate.

“When officers arrived, the suspect attacked one of the responding officers and fled the location," Vasquez said.

The suspect escaped by jumping from a second-floor window and disappeared, the release stated.

Then, at around 6 a.m., law enforcement responded to a report of a stabbing in the area of Webster Avenue and Perris Boulevard, which is located roughly a quarter-mile away from the initial incident, according to the deputy.

Officers found the stabbing victim -- who had moderate wounds -- and called an ambulance. His condition was not provided by Vasquez.

Moreno Valley police shot and killed a man who authorities said  was involved in two earlier violent assaults. (Credit: Casper News)

Moreno Valley police shot and killed a man who authorities said was involved in two earlier violent assaults. (Credit: Casper News)

Within minutes, authorities located someone they identified as a "suspect" at Perris and Sunnymeade boulevards, according to the spokesman.

“The suspect was holding an unknown object at that time and refused to drop the item, and advanced on officers,” Vasquez said.

At that point, an "officer-involved shooting" occurred, according to Vasquez.

"The officers identified the suspect in the stabbing as the same individual who was involved in the officer-involved assault hours prior," he added.

Exclusive cellphone video from the scene obtained by KTLA showed the moment when police opened fire.

"Whatever he had in his hand ... he shoved it at the police officers," the woman who shot the video told KTLA.

It was unclear whether the man was advancing on the two officers prior to where the cellphone video began recording. Moments before the fatal shot was fired, however, the man can be seen getting up from the ground.

"The first couple of rounds were just kind of random," said the witness, who wished to remain anonymous. "When he went down the first time, he seemed to get right back up."

A tool -- possibly a wrench or pliers -- was found not far from the victim's body. (Credit: Casper News)

A tool -- possibly a wrench or pliers -- was found not far from the victim's body. (Credit: Casper News)

The footage then showed the man appearing to back away from law enforcement personnel before being shot at least once.

"The officers just repeatedly kept saying, 'please lower your weapon, we will be forced to shoot,'" the witness said. "They did what they could be avoid the situation."

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Vasquez. His identity has yet to be released.

It was not immediately known how many times the man was hit by gunfire.

It was later determined that he had a knife and a hand tool in his hands, according to the release.

Video shot by a photojournalist at the scene showed a tool -- possibly a wrench or pliers -- in the middle of the roadway, which was where the man was shot. It was unknown if that was the object he was allegedly holding during the confrontation with police.

During both contacts with the man, officers attempted to use a Taser, but it had no effect on him, authorities stated.

No officers were injured in the shooting, which was under investigation.

The officers involved in the shooting were assigned to the Moreno Valley Police Department, which is contracted by the county Sheriff's Department, according to sheriff's Sgt. Mike Manning.

The officers were placed on administrative leave. Their names were not released.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents has been asked to contact the Moreno Valley Police Department at 951-247-8700.

KTLA's Jennifer Thang contributed to this story.

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