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Police fatally shoot knife-wielding man at Baldwin Hills mall

Police fatally shoot knife-wielding man at Baldwin Hills mall
Police were involved in a shooting at a Baldwin Hills mall. (KTLA)

Los Angeles police shot and killed a knife-wielding man Tuesday evening at a Baldwin Hills shopping center, authorities said.

About 5:40 p.m., officers responded to reports of a man with a knife in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall at 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., said Los Angeles Police Officer Mike Lopez.

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Officers saw the man inside the mall and shot him shortly after. A knife was recovered. No officers were injured.

"It appears this was an isolated incident and not a mass knife attack situation," said LAPD Lt. Chris Ramirez.

Video recorded by a witness and obtained by CBS-TV Channel 2 showed a man running before four gunshots echoed.

A witness to the shooting said he was eating with his family at Americana Buffet & Grill when he noticed the man walking around near the escalators.

The witness, who asked to remain anonymous but provided a video that captured part of the encounter, said he saw the man holding a knife at his waistband. Soon after, two officers pulled up and entered the mall — one drew his gun while the other pulled out a Taser.

The witness said the officers ordered the man to drop the knife, but he didn't comply. The man then started running away from the officers near GameStop while waving the knife. That's when the witness heard gunfire.

"​​It was the right decision," he said. "He could've stabbed somebody."

When asked to confirm this account, Ramirez declined to comment.

Investigators with the LAPD's Force Investigation Division were canvassing the scene and speaking with witnesses. Officials with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office and the Office of Inspector General also responded, as is customary with police shootings.

The slain man, described as 25 to 35 years old, was the eighth person shot by on-duty LAPD officers this year, six of whom died.

Fire officials were called to the scene, but no one was taken to a hospital, said Amy Bastman, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles Fire Department.

Times staff writer Kate Mather contributed to this report.

Twitter: @AleneTchek

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UPDATES:

11:15 p.m.: This article was updated with an interview with a witness.

9:55 p.m.: This article was updated with more details about the shooting.

This article was originally published at 7:45 p.m.

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