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Witness Says Man With Pistol Killed by LAPD 'Just Sat There, Waiting to be Shot'

Los Angeles police officers killed a man who was reportedly brandishing a handgun and firing shots into the air and ground along a busy street.
Photo by Nick Ut/AP

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Los Angeles police shot and killed a man on Friday afternoon after witnesses reported that he was indiscriminately firing rounds from a handgun along a busy thoroughfare in the San Fernando Valley.

The incident began at around 3:30pm local time on Friday after the alleged gunman, described as curly-haired white man who appeared to be in his 40s, reportedly fired several rounds from a handgun in a commercial district in Studio City, California.


According to witnesses, after firing the shots, the man reloaded his pistol and placed it in a paper bag. Then he sat down on a brick ledge between a Chipotle and a Union Bank on Ventura Boulevard, just west of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, where he appeared to be waiting for the police to arrive.

Related: Footage of Los Angeles Cops Fatally Shooting Unarmed Man Released After Two Years

Right now, on Ventura Blvd this guy was shooting the air. Thank you to the police for saving everyone's lives. — verta keshishyan (@vertakesh)July 24, 2015

"He wasn't making a fuss, wasn't shouting, didn't seem angry… didn't seem to have a game plan, wasn't running away," Terry Burstein, a 53-year-old Studio City resident who watched the scene unfold, told the Associated Press. "He just sat there, waiting to be shot."

Officers with the LAPD's North Hollywood division responded to the scene, and asked the man to drop his weapon. He was shot and killed when he did not respond.

Related: How the LAPD Got Smart and Started Winning the War Against Street Gangs

— Robert Kovacik (@RobertNBCLA)July 25, 2015

A bomb squad robot was dispatched to the investigate before officers approached his body. "There was concern over what appeared to be an explosive device in the suspect's possession," Officer Matthew Ludwig told VICE News. The object, described by witnesses as a metal cylinder, was destroyed by the robot. A briefcase found near the body was reportedly destroyed as well.

None of the gunman's personal effects contained any identification, and his identity remains unknown as of Saturday afternoon. The LAPD's Force Investigation Division, which probes officer-involved shootings and other cases in which officers use force on citizens, would be investigating the incident, police said.

Follow Tessa Stuart on Twitter: @tessastuart

The Associated Press contributed to this report