Man Hospitalized After Being Shot by Police Near Westlake School

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A man was rushed into surgery after being shot by at least one officer with the Los Angeles School Police Department in Westlake early Saturday.

Two officers on patrol at Esperanza Elementary School made contact with the man, who was armed with a knife, around 2:45 a.m., said Lt. Chris Ramirez with the Los Angeles Police Department, which is investigating the incident.

The officers came into contact with the man off school grounds, on the street near the intersection of 7th Street and Union Avenue, Ramirez said. He was unsure whether the encounter was prompted by a radio call or observation.

It was also unclear what behavior the man displayed that prompted a show of force from officers. Ramirez told the Los Angeles Times he was holding the knife in a "threatening manner."

After making contact with the man, the officers used a beanbag shotgun in an attempt to take him into custody.

He then fled, but the officers gave chase and used the beanbag gun a second time after they found him again. After that, an officer-involved shooting occurred, Ramirez said.

The man was struck and taken to the hospital, where he underwent surgery, according to Ramirez. It was unknown whether he was in serious or critical condition.

The man had been trying to enter a vehicle with others inside at the time he was shot, Ramirez told the Times.

Edin Hernandez, who works as a security guard nearby, said he saw the incident unfold, beginning with the man running away from police.

"After three minutes they were still chasing him around the Bank of America, the ATMs," he told KTLA. "After that the guy ran into the President Apartments, then I heard the shots — boom boom, three times — and I went and took a look at the body. He was on the floor, blood — and the ambulance took him."

No officers were hurt in the incident.

Both the Los Angeles school police and the LAPD are investigating. The police review of the incident was in its early stages and the officers involved had not yet been interviewed by investigators, Ramirez said.

No further details were immediately available.

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