Anthony Blackburn uploaded a video to Facebook showing an altercation involving two civilians and the LAPD that left one man dead. The incident was recorded on a cell phone camera and has been watched more than 4 million times.
Authorities confirmed the shooting and said the fatality resulted in a struggle over an officer’s weapon.
Cmdr. Andrew Smith said officers assigned to the LAPD’s Central Division and Safer Cities Initiative — a task force focused on skid row — responded to the location about noon Sunday after receiving a 911 call reporting a possible robbery.
Smith said the officers approached the man and made contact with him, at which point he “began fighting and physically resisting the officers.” The officers attempted to take him into custody and at one point, attempted to use a Taser that Smith said was “ineffective.”
The man continued to resist police, Smith said, and the man and some of the officers fell to the ground.
“At some point in there, a struggle over one of the officer’s weapons occurred,” Smith said. “At that point an officer-involved shooting happened.”
The video shows the police wrestling the man to the ground and one of the officers (presumably) says something that sounds like “drop the gun, drop the gun.” Five shots were subsequently fired and police report a Taser was also deployed at the scene.
The L.A. Times reports that no other gun was found at the scene. Witnesses gave varying accounts of the altercation to the Times. One of the witnesses reports that an officer said, “Gun, gun, he’s got my gun!” before police fired multiple shots.