A Los Angeles police officer shot and killed a man who was holding a pipe on a busy downtown street corner midday Saturday, and the shooting was captured by a witness on cellphone video.
Officers were dispatched around 12:30 p.m. to a fast-food restaurant near the intersection of South Broadway and West Olympic Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A Carl’s Jr. is about a block away, but cellphone video showed the shooting taking place in front of a sushi restaurant called New Mikado.
“When they arrived, they did see a male Hispanic holding what’s described as a 4-to-5-foot metal pipe,” said LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar. “We know there was a Taser used by one of the officers. Unfortunately, though, the encounter did end with an officer-involved shooting.”
The man was transported to a hospital, where he died, according to police.
A witness who works at a ramen restaurant across the street said the man didn’t respond to police commands to put down the pipe.
“There was some commotion and my co-worker was outside. I went outside and there was a gentleman wearing all white who approached the man holding the pipe,” said Bryce Marshall.
An altercation occurred between the men and then officers arrived, Marshall said.
“Basically, the cops told the man to put down the pipe and he wasn’t really following the commands. He basically took a few steps forward. I’m not sure if it was directly at the cop or the gentleman that he had the altercation with, but then, right then, the officer fired two shots.”
Marshall said he felt the gunfire was “unjust,” and noted that other witnesses were shocked. The man with the pipe was a homeless person familiar to the community, Marshall said.
One officer – a veteran of the force with more than 20 years of experience – fired two rounds, police said. Another officer, with less than a year of experience, used the Taser.
Police did not release the identity officers involved or of the man killed, whom they described only as Hispanic and in his 50s.