Armed Ex-Student Who Claimed to Have a Hostage Shot by Officer at El Camino College: Police Chief

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An armed former student who was believed to have called police at El Camino College, saying someone was being held hostage in a parking lot, was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot by responding officers Thursday, police said.

The incident began when a call came into police dispatch about 11:30 a.m. from a man saying he was holding someone hostage in a stairwell of a parking garage on campus, which is in an unincorporated area of the South Bay near Torrance (map).

A second call came into dispatch again alleging a hostage situation, and the man said he had a gun, according to El Camino College Police Department Chief Michael Trevis, who held an afternoon news conference after the shooting.

Two officers who responded found the man on the ground level of stairwell 8 in the parking garage, Trevis said.

"The individual produced what appears to be a firearm, pointed it at the officers, and the officers fired," Trevis said.

Multiple shots were fired, according to a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which was assisting campus police in the investigation.

The man was hit in the upper torso after both officers fired, Trevis said. He was a white or Hispanic man in his 20s wearing a hoodie and carrying a semiautomatic pistol, according to the chief.

The man, whose identity has not been released, was in critical condition, Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said. He was a student at the college last semester, she said.

Investigators were looking into whether "suicide by cop" was a possible motivation for the incident, Nishida said.

Around noon, police urged people to avoid the upper and lower decks of parking lot F, on Manhattan Beach Boulevard, until further notice.

Video from the scene showed officers on the roof of a parking garage, where yellow police tape was set up. A nearby area that appeared to be under construction was also taped off.

KTLA's Jennifer Thang contributed to this article.

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