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Police Fatally Shoot Man Attacking His Girlfriend in Grocery Store Parking Lot in Garden Grove

Police shot and killed a man who was seen viciously attacking his girlfriend outside a Garden Grove supermarket, authorities said.

An officer responded to the reported domestic violence in the parking lot of the Ralphs at Euclid Street and Chapman Avenue around 3 p.m., Garden Grove Police Lt. Carl Whitney said.

The couple was inside a silver Hyundai Sonata, and the woman was pleading with her boyfriend to stop so that she could breathe, police said.

Several witnesses at the scene reported seeing the man with his hands around her throat, and refused to stop despite the officer's commands and her pleas.

"That guy was strangling his wife and he wouldn't stop," Nick Zunick said. "The cops tried to stop him and he wouldn't stop, so they shot him."

Witnesses said the man still had his hands on the woman's throat when the lone officer opened fire.

The man was struck — police haven't said how many times — and taken to a nearby trauma center for treatment. He was later pronounced dead at about 3:40 p.m., police said.

Authorities were not releasing his name, pending notification of his next of kin, but said he was a 46-year-old transient.

The woman — described by police as a 43-year-old Garden Grove resident — was crying and scared following the ordeal, but appeared to be OK physically, witnesses said.

Some of the bystanders questioned the officer's use of lethal force, while others said the girlfriend would have died without intervention.

Many of those people had to remain at the store for hours, until around 9:30 p.m., to be interviewed as witnesses in the investigation.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office will lead the investigation into the fatal police shooting.