Man Shot by Police Was Firing Shots in Air in Shopping Area

Tony Webster/Flickr
Tony Webster/Flickr

On Friday afternoon, a man armed with a handgun in a shopping area in Studio City was shot and killed by police after he allegedly fired shots into the air.

Around 3:20 p.m., the police received a public disturbance radio call, triggering their arrival at the scene, where they saw a man witnesses said was seated on a brick ledge outside the Union Bank firing shots into the air and other shots into the ground.

One witness told CBS Los Angeles, “He was hunched over and I noticed six spray paint cans all taped together looking like a bomb and I see him hunched over and he’s just leaning over just with his head down and he’s holding a gun in his hand.”

Another witness told the Los Angeles Times that the man fired two shots in the air and two more into the ground, but seemed calm, adding, “It was so bizarre. He looked like he was just waiting for the cops.”

A third witness told ABC 7, “…people started walking by the guy as if nothing was going on. I don’t think people realized he had a gun. He was hiding it between his knees. Women, kids, people with strollers were going by this guy. It was really terrifying,” The witness added that once police showed up, “He’s not listening to anyone. It looked like a standoff. Then that guy started moving his arm and that was it. I heard two more shots.”

Two suspicious devices near the man’s body were detonated by a robot from the bomb squad. Claudia Peschiutta of KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO reported that a gun was found near the man’s body.

Det. Meghan Aguilar said that police gunfire struck the man, but he may have also shot himself.