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L.A. County coroner identifies man killed by Gardena police

A man shot and killed by Gardena police officers was identified Monday as 34-year-old Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino.

Diaz-Zeferino, whose city of residence was not immediately available, was shot about 2:30 a.m., when officers responded to a robbery call at a drug store in the 15700 block of Western Avenue, the L.A. County Sheriff's  Department said.

En route to the scene of the robbery, which police were told involved a bicycle, an officer in the 1600 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard spotted two men on bicycles coming from the direction of the robbery.

He tried to detain the men but one acted "strangely" and did not follow orders, said sheriff's Deputy Lilian Peck.

Soon other officers arrived. So did Diaz-Zeferino, who authorities said stepped between officers and the two detainees. Instead of complying with officers' commands, he reached for his waistband area and advanced toward the officers, Peck said in a written statement.

Several officers, believing Diaz-Zeferino was about to shoot them, fired, striking him in the upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

One of the other two men also was shot and taken to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, Peck said.

No officers were injured.

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jean.merl@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeanmerl

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