Police shoot and kill gunman near Huntington Beach Pier as shocked passers-by watch – Orange County Register

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Police shot dead a man at close range in Huntington City Beach on Saturday afternoon as shocked witnesses watched and screamed from the pier and bike path.

The shooting happened around 3:15 p.m. on the sand just south of the Huntington Beach Pier and near the trailhead, said Jennifer Carey, spokesperson for Huntington Beach Police.

Witnesses say three police officers were chasing a man in a white t-shirt and denim shorts as he passed under the pier.

Police said he had a gun and when he did not obey “multiple commands” they opened fire.

Several blows were heard. There was a pause, then other rounds.

“We started hearing pop, pop, pop,” said Hector Tovar, a resident of Chino Hills, who visits Huntington Beach every Saturday. “I thought it was fireworks, that’s how many laps there were.”

Police are investigating the area near where an officer shot dead a man on Saturday afternoon in Huntington City Beach. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

The US Open of Surfing is underway at the beach this weekend, although apparently today’s competition is over. But a freelance videographer said hundreds of people were in the area at the time.

Ana Leticia watched the police chase the man before shooting him. She posted a photo to social media right after the shooting showing half a dozen officers watching the man while he was on the ground. At least one officer appeared to point a pistol at him.

“I thought I heard fireworks – when I turned around these cops were following the guy,” Leticia said in a direct message on Twitter. “Then they shot him. “

The man, described as Latino, was taken to hospital, Carey said. His name, age and condition were not immediately available.

Police officers who shot the man were carrying body cameras, which were activated during the incident, Carey said. The images will be part of the investigation.

Police said a gun was found at the scene.

A spectator video shared with TMZ shows three officers with unsheathed weapons approaching a man who was already rolling on his back. They were standing about six feet from him.

“Did they pile it up?” One person could be heard asking in the video.

Within seconds, two other officers join the group, also with guns pointed at the man. While lying on his side, the man points his finger, at which point the police open fire. It was not clear from the grainy video if the man was holding anything in his hands.

At least five pops can be heard in rapid succession. The crowd howls and howls.

Police officers wait about 30 seconds with their guns still pointed at the man, who was now lying motionless, before moving to remove items from him, while appearing to be treating his injuries.

“Yeah, we’ve seen it all,” one person could be heard at the end of the video. “I know we could have been shot at, my God,” the person added.

Cambree Evans, 21, of Gilbert, Ariz., Was also among passers-by who crowded the pier and boardwalk at the time of the shooting. She and her boyfriend were visiting California to celebrate their birthday.

Evans and her boyfriend were in a souvenir shop along the beach when she saw an officer quickly get into his patrol car and head for the pier with sirens blaring, the Arizona resident recalls. . Other officers ran in that direction.

As the two approached the parking lot where their car was parked, they saw more officers and patrol vehicles invade the area where the man lay motionless on the sand.

About 15 minutes after the shooting, Evans watched as paramedics brought the man into an ambulance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMXs-68KZMw

Although the US Open surf competition drew beachgoers on Saturday, the competition ended on the day the shooting took place, a World Surf League spokesperson said in a statement.

“The WSL is aware of the incident that occurred near the Huntington Beach event site after the competition ended for the day. All athletes and staff are safe and taken care of, ”the statement said.

Orange County Sheriff investigators are working with Huntington Beach Police to investigate the shooting, officials said.

Local activists began to organize around Saturday’s shooting and were planning action, calling for the officers involved to be held accountable, said Tory Johnson, founding member of Black Lives Matter-Huntington Beach.

“This is what we are fighting against. We are fighting against police assaults, whether black, brown, purple, ”Johnson said. “What we’re saying is you can’t kill minorities, and you can’t treat people a certain way just because they’re different from you, or they don’t fit the mold. of an average citizen of our city. “



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