More than 2 dozen rounds exchanged in intense gun fight

Police say more than two dozen rounds were exchanged between the Latino man who died in an intense gun battle with officers early this morning.

The man, whose identity hasn’t been released pending family notification, died of multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene on San Fernando Road and Glendale Avenue, police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said. No officers were injured during the gun battle.

“Right now, we are trying to determine why at 2:30 this morning he was wandering the streets and firing his weapon before the police arrived, and why then, when the police arrived, he literally attacked the officers,” Lorenz said.

Los Angeles County Coroner’s officials have preliminarily identified the gunman, described as being in his 30s, and police will be contacting his family to “see what the issue is and what may have led to his bizarre behavior,” Lorenz said.

Two Glendale police officers responded to the area near Cerritos Elementary School and Forest Lawn Memorial Park, about 2:30 a.m. after receiving reports of shots fired.

They didn’t see anyone, but did hear a gunshot, Lorenz said.

When they continued south on San Fernando, they saw the gunman walking toward them.

“They tell him to ‘Stop. Put your hands up,’ and all of sudden, he whips out a gun and starts shooting at the officers,” Lorenz said.

The officers took cover behind their patrol car and returned fire. But the gunman continued to advance while firing his pistol, Lorenz said.

“It was literally a gun fight,” he said.

The patrol car of a third officer who arrived on scene was struck by gunfire on the driver’s side and hood.

At some point, the gunman was struck and killed.

“It’s absolutely bizarre that this guy engaged the officers,” Lorenz said.

The officers involved in the shooting returned to police headquarters, where they were to be interviewed by administrative officials and representatives from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Investigators spent much of the morning interviewing witnesses and scouring Cerritos Park and elementary school for evidence.

Police said San Fernando Road between Glendale Avenue and Brand Boulevard, which was closed during the investigation, could reopen as soon as noon.

Police also escorted parents who had to drop off their children at Cerritos Elementary.

-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

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