A man was shot and killed by officers outside of a busy Home Depot in Burbank on Saturday afternoon.
Police received a call from the male suspect who said he was inside a vehicle parked outside the store on the 1200 block of Flower Street around 4 p.m., according to Burbank Police.
He told officers that he had a gun and had threatened to shoot customers.
The suspect provided a description of the vehicle he was in. When police arrived at the scene, they found the man still seated inside his car.
During a verbal exchange with police, the suspect began behaving aggressively.
“At some point during the brief exchange, he stepped out of the vehicle, he took a shooting stance toward the officers which then precipitated the officer-involved shooting,” said police.
The man was transported to the Providence Holy Cross Trauma Center where he later died from his injuries. It’s unclear how many shots were fired at him.
Cellphone video captured by witnesses shows multiple rounds of gunfire being heard, creating chaos among shoppers.
“I’m going to the register and I heard ‘pop, pop, pop’ and everybody just started running to the back of the store,” said Sabena Horn, a witness.
Another witness, Carlos Cardenas, said the suspect had approached him earlier inside Home Depot.
“He seemed like he was out of his mind,” said Cardenas. “He seemed like he was taking something. He just came up and spoke gibberish to me.”
Images of the scene show a large police presence as shoppers in the area looked on.
Burbank police said this may have been a case of a “suicide by cop,” which involves provoking officers into using deadly force.
“Unfortunately, it does happen,” said Burbank police. “They do want to harm themselves or others or they will tell us they want to harm others and the result is they want us to harm them.”
No officers were injured during the incident. The suspect’s information has not been released pending identification by the L.A. County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office.
Some customers said they had to wait inside the store for up to three hours before they were released. They had to find other ways to get home as their vehicles were ordered to remain in the parking lot until the investigation concludes.
The parking lot and roadways near the Home Depot were cordoned off as police clear the scene. Officials are still investigating whether the suspect possessed any weapons at the time.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Burbank Police Department Investigations Division at 818-238-3210.