Witnesses are questioning the decision by police to open fire on a man who appeared to be running away from a standoff with officers in Long Beach on Sunday.
The incident began about 2:45 p.m. at a Target store in the 1600 block of South Alameda Street in Compton where sheriff's deputies were assisting security officers in detaining a man who allegedly tried to commit a robbery at the store, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a press release.
As deputies assisted security officers, the man "pulled out a large pair of scissors" - apparently garden shears - from his waistband, then fled to a SUV and drove away from the area with authorities in pursuit, the press release said.
The SUV came to a stop in the 1800 block of East Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, where deputies said the man refused to come out of the vehicle.
About 15 minutes later, the man got out of the SUV allegedly holding a large wooden stick.
In an attempt to detain the uncooperative suspect, the press release said, deputies used a stun bag, but it had no effect on the man, and he again ran from deputies.
Long Beach police officers who were there to help apprehend the man opened fire after confronting him, the press release said.
Video taken by a witness shows the man running from the standoff and down a flight of stairs to the sand below, when he was struck in the back by gunfire.
The man was taken the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. He was not identified.
“He was not aggressive,” a witness said. “He was running away from them and they shot him at his back.”
Sheriff's detectives will investigate the alleged assault with a deadly weapon and robbery, the press release said.