Local news stations are reporting that the LAPD shot and killed a man yesterday evening at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, a mall located in LA’s Baldwin Hills neighborhood.
Initially the LAPD said that officers were called to the scene because of a reported shooting, but the police have since stated that officers were responding to reports about a man with a knife.
Witnesses on the scene said that a man was behaving in a strange manner and that security guards had unsuccessfully tried to get him to leave. Juan Zepeda, who was at the mall during the shooting, told KTLA what he saw.
“After a while, I guess they were calling it into police that something sketchy’s happening. “He was standing kind of sketchy, like he was about to do something,” said Zepeda. He says the man did have a knife, but was trying to run away when police shot him. “They shot toward his back, yeah. I saw the smoke coming out of the guns and everything,” he said.
According to the LAPD, a knife was recovered on the scene.
In a brief video video taken at the mall at the time of the shooting, four gun shots and screams can be heard as people run for cover.
— Marcus Wilson-Smith (@MarcusSmithKTLA) April 11, 2018
Another video appears to show the officers shooting the fatal rounds. A woman can be heard saying “He’s running away!” and then gun shots and screaming.
Breaking: Witness video of deadly officer shooting at Crenshaw Mall. Witnesses say man had a large knife and made threatening moves. pic.twitter.com/loWqYYE9tg
— Jeff Nguyen (@jeffnguyen) April 11, 2018
The LA Times notes that the deceased man is the eighth person to be shot by the LAPD so far this year and the sixth to die. His identity has not yet been released.