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Huntington Beach offering mental health services in aftermath of officer-involved shooting

Police surround Ronnie Andrew Garcia on Saturday afternoon at Huntington City Beach.
(Courtesy of Ana Leticia)

Huntington Beach officials are offering mental health services this week to people who may have witnessed or been in the vicinity a police officer-involved shooting death on the crowded beach Saturday afternoon.

In partnership with Be Well OC, counseling/support sessions are being offered for those struggling or in need of emotional support. For more information, contact Be Well OC’s Tony Delgado at (949) 300-0175.

The Orange County Coroner’s office has identified the man killed as Ronnie Andrew Garcia, 43. His city of residence was not released.

Garcia was shot by police after a confrontation Saturday on the sand at Huntington City Beach, near the U.S. Open of Surfing and Sandy’s Beach Shack just south of the pier.

The surfing event had concluded for the day by 3:15 p.m., when the Huntington Beach Police Department received reports about a suspicious man with a gun. Garcia was not compliant to the multiple commands given to him by the officers, department spokeswoman Jennifer Carey said.

A gun was recovered at the scene, police said.

Graphic video posted on social media showed Garcia holding an object covered by a white shirt and extending it toward officers. Gunshots are heard before Garcia went to the ground in pain. He reached for the object in the shirt again before several more gunshots are seen hitting his body.

After police and paramedics attempted to perform CPR, he was transferred to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

The shooting is under investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

“The officers were wearing body cameras, and [the footage] will be given to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department as part of their investigation,” Carey said.

Carey said the city will be holding a community meeting in coming days for members of the public directly impacted by the shooting to express their concerns and ask questions. Details are still being developed.

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