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Bakersfield police fatally shoot man who tried to set woman on fire

Witnesses say man killed by Bakersfield police was 'behaving erratically' before trying to set woman on fire

A man was shot and killed Wednesday after he allegedly poured gasoline on a woman and tried to set her on fire before charging a Bakersfield police officer.

The man, who has not been identified, suffered a gunshot wound and was taken to Kern Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:28 p.m., said Sgt. Joe Grubbs of the Bakersfield Police Department.

The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in the department's officer-involved shooting investigations, he said in a statement.

Witnesses saw the man "behaving erratically," including screaming, yelling obscenities and throwing outdoor furniture, Grubbs said.

Next, he walked over to the woman who was pumping her vehicle with gas in the 2100 block of East Brundage Lane. The woman's children were inside the vehicle.

The man removed the gas nozzle from her vehicle, poured gasoline on the ground and on the woman's pants and tried to set her on fire with a lighter, he said.

The woman got in her car and drove away, Grubbs added.

When the officer arrived at the scene, police said, the man ignored his orders and charged him, carrying a possible bicycle lock. The officer then fired one shot at the man.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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