GARDENA : Man Throws Tire Iron at Patrol Car, Is Shot to Death

Gardena police shot a man to death Thursday after he threw a tire iron at a patrol car, retrieved it and then threatened the officer and others who came to the officer's aid, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman said.

Michael Herrera, 45, of Lomita died in the 1500 block of West El Segundo Boulevard, according to sheriff's spokesman Brian Jones. No officers were hurt.

A Gardena officer was driving by when the suspect threw the tire iron at the patrol car, Jones said. The officer radioed for help and two other officers arrived.

"The man retrieved the tire iron from the street and confronted the officers, threatening to kill them with the tire iron," Jones said.

The officers ordered Herrera to drop the metal bar, but he allegedly refused. One of the officers then used pepper spray on the suspect, "which apparently agitated him even more," Jones said.

Herrera then climbed onto the hood of a patrol car and tried to hit an officer with the tire iron, which struck the windshield, Jones said.

"He then made another attempt to strike the officer, and it was at that time . . . [that] two of the three officers fired their handguns at the suspect," Jones said.

Officers found a 10-inch kitchen knife in the suspect's pants pocket and a screwdriver in his waistband, Jones said.

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