LOS ANGELES – A California Highway Patrol Officer fatallyshot a male during a scuffle Sunday on a closed Interstate, officials said. The disturbing incident was recorded by a passerby.
According to a statement by California Attorney General Rob Bonta whose office is currently investigating the incident, the shooting occurred at 3:15 p.m. in the Southern California town of Lynwood.
In a press release, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell stated that she welcomes an investigation.
The video of a fatal shooting by a California Highway Patrol Officer is deeply disturbing and saddening. She said, “I look forward to an investigation by the California Department of Justice. I also offer my condolences and deepest sympathies to those who are mourning this tragic loss.”
Sources in law enforcement said that about two dozen motorists reported a man walking along I-105. I-105 is a major thoroughfare which runs through South Los Angeles and ends at the Los Angeles International Airport.
Before the officer approached him, the highway patrol had stopped traffic on I-105 in one direction.
Social media videos appeared to show a highway patrol officer fighting with a man before shooting erupted. The man in the video is lying on his back and appears to be trying to grab the officer as the officer tries to restrain the man.
The officer appears to have punched the man in the face with one hand, and then reached for his service gun with the other. The officer gets up and begins firing at close range at the man, while stepping away. The officer continues to point the gun at the man for a minimum of a minute, while the man is still motionless.
The video did not reveal what had happened prior to the recording. Also, it was unclear if the man was armed.
The highway patrol declined to comment immediately. Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office did not release the identity of the man until he was notified of his next of kin.
Andrew Blankstein reported on the news from Los Angeles, and David K. Li in New York City.