Four Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies fatally shot a man in Lakewood on Monday after authorities said he tried to run one of them down with his car.
The 29-year-old man was struck and killed by gunfire from four deputies, who had tried "different levels of non-lethal force," including pepper spray and Tasers, before firing their weapons, said Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the sheriff's Homicide Bureau.
Deputies responded about 10:40 a.m. to a report of the man "acting strangely" and off his medication in the 5500 block of Adenmoor Avenue, Hernandez said.
When they arrived, the man drove his black BMW into a deputy's patrol car, Hernandez said. He refused to park his car or exit, so another deputy pulled up next to him.
But the man continued driving forward, then reversing his car, Hernandez said. A deputy who was trying to get the man out of his car was hit by the driver's door.
The deputy's legs were trapped between the patrol car and the man's door. He suffered only bruises and swelling.
"I'm not sure how the deputy got out without crushing his legs," Hernandez said.
The department did not say if the injured deputy was one of the four who opened fire.
No other details about the incident, including the identification of the dead man or the deputies involved, were immediately available. No weapon was found on the dead man or in the car.
Katie Carter, 18, heard the sound of screeching tires Monday morning as she was getting ready for church camp. When she heard multiple popping sounds, she jumped to look out her window.
She asked her mother, "What was wrong?" Her mother replied that a neighbor's son was shot.
"He was super sweet," Carter said. "His family is like part of my family still. He didn't deserve what happened."
Carter grew up with the man's niece.
"It's pretty hard to find out this happened to him," she said.
Claudia Perez and Alfredo Gonzalez were at home watching TV with their kids when they heard multiple "pops" erupt one street over.
"We thought they were fireworks because of the Fourth of July and thought nothing of it," Gonzalez said. "Then we heard sirens."
By Monday afternoon, neighbors crowded street corners, snapping photos and asking each other about what happened just hours before.
"We've never seen anything like this in this neighborhood," Gonzalez said. "I'm speechless."
Gonzalez said he heard "multiple shots." Sheriff's deputies quickly responded to the scene, he said. By the time he managed to throw on a shirt to step outside, officers were closing off the street. A helicopter hovered overhead and the sound of ambulances filled the area, he said.
"This neighborhood is so quiet and peaceful," Perez said.
The shooting will be investigated by the Sheriff's Department as well as the Los Angeles County district attorney's office and the Office of the Inspector General. The sheriff's executive force review committee will analyze the shooting.
The incident marked the second fatal shooting by deputies in less than a day. In Hawaiian Gardens, deputies fatally shot a man about 9:40 p.m. Sunday after getting a call about a man trying to get into a home.
For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA.