California

Man fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies during traffic stop in East L.A.

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Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel search a person who was inside a car involved in a fatal shooting by deputies late Thursday.
(OnScene.TV)

A man was shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies during a traffic stop in East Los Angeles late Thursday.

The shooting occurred shortly before 11 p.m. when deputies pulled over a vehicle in the 300 block of S. Gerhart Avenue, according to Sheriff’s Department officials. At some point during the stop, an altercation occurred with a man in the passenger seat of the vehicle and at least one deputy opened fire, officials said.

Authorities have not said why the deputies initially stopped the car.

The man, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Deputies recovered a firearm they allege belonged to the man at the scene, authorities said.

The driver of the vehicle was detained but has not been arrested as of early Friday, according to Sheriff’s Department officials.

Kevin Saenz said he was out on a walk with his family when he saw the patrol car and heard a rapid succession of shots.

“We turned the corner on Gerhart Avenue and we see a cop car — a sheriff’s patrol — doing I guess a routine traffic stop, and about five or six seconds after I turned the corner, rapid bursts, three to seven shots,” he said. “Thought it was fireworks at first, but I mean seeing the cop car and putting two and two together, it wasn’t fireworks.”

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @Hannahnfry