Man Shot by Deputies at Nickerson Gardens in Watts Is Pronounced Dead at Hospital

A man who was shot by deputies at a housing complex in the Watts neighborhood of South Los Angeles Wednesday night was pronounced dead at the hospital, authorities stated Thursday.

The shooting occurred about 7:17 p.m. after deputies were patrolling the area of Imperial Highway and Slater Avenue and noticed a suspicious vehicle parked facing the wrong way, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities surround a man who was shot by at least one deputy in Nickerson Gardens in Watts on Aug. 17, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

Deputies saw a man standing outside the vehicle and a second person seated in the driver’s seat. The man standing outside the vehicle, who investigators say was armed with a handgun, ran eastbound through a driveway and into the housing development when the deputies approached.

At some point during the chase, a deputy-involved shooting occurred and the man was struck at least one time in the upper body, the Sheriff’s Department stated.

It's not clear what crime the deputies suspected the man of or why they chased him, nor what prompted the gunfire. It's also not clear how many deputies opened fire.

Aerial video from Sky5 showed the man lying on his back, bloodied, on a sidewalk inside the large public housing complex, a few hundred feet from where the Sheriff’s Department said he was initially spotted by the “suspicious vehicle.”

Deputies try to keep members of the public from the scene of a shooting as the man shot is placed into an ambulance on Aug. 16, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

About 7:26 p.m., an ambulance approached and a gurney was rolled toward the man; a paramedic and a sheriff’s deputy helped the man onto his side. Firefighters and deputies lifted the man onto the gurney. He was wheeled into the waiting ambulance, which departed the complex about 7:34 p.m.

Dozens of residents watched from across a line of deputies who stood in the street, cordoning off the scene. Dozens of deputies and Los Angeles police officers responded, some of them armed with long guns.

The sheriff’s release stated a “handgun believed to belong to the suspect was found at the scene.” It wasn’t clear from the Sky5 video where the man’s alleged gun was discovered.

A graphic Instagram video taken by a witness shortly after the shooting showed the man on his side, apparently handcuffed. Deputies were trying to talk to the man.

The witness said the man did not have a gun. Other witnesses on scene told a freelance news photographer the man was not armed.

A deputy stands near the Nickerson Gardens scene of a fatal shooting as police walk behind him on Aug. 16, 2017. (Credit: OnScene.TV)

The man, who was in his 30s but has not been identified, was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital, the Sheriff’s Department announced about 2 a.m. Thursday.

No deputies were injured in the incident. The sheriff's Homicide Bureau is investigating.

A week ago, a crowd clashed with Los Angeles police officers during another incident in the same area.

The Sacramento Kings’ Zach Randolph, 36, was was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale that night. Another person was also arrested, according to the Los Angeles Times.

And in July 2016, a “running gunbattle” at Nickerson Gardens resulted in the death of 18-year-old Richard Risher.

The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled the three LAPD officers involved were justified in the shooting.

The 1,066-unit housing complex is within the city of Los Angeles, but the location where the "suspect" was first spotted is just over the Imperial Highway border in unincorporated part of the county that is patrolled by the Sheriff's Department.

A sheriff's official apparently talks to a man fatally shot by deputies at Nickerson Gardens on Aug. 16, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)