An undercover detective saw what he thought was an armed robbery at a store in downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row. The suspect ran, was shot by the detective, then was fatally shot down the street by other police officers, prompting an angry crowd of homeless people who gathered. Patrick Healy reports from downtown LA for the NBC4 News at Noon on May 1, 2013.
A man thought to be an armed robbery suspect was shot and killed by police today in the downtown Los Angeles area, prompting an angry crowd to gather in Skid Row.
The fatal shooting occurred shortly before 9:30 a.m. near Fifth and Wall streets (map).
An undercover officer was in the area when he saw what appeared to be a robbery in progress in a market, said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Sgt. Rudy Lopez said.
"An undercover detective in plain clothes observed what he believed a robbery in progress inside the market. The suspect had a gun in hand. When the suspect exited the location, that's when the first officer-involved shooting occurred," Lopez said.
The suspect ran east on San Julian Street, Lopez said. About 150 feet from the store, other officers – in uniform – shot the man, Lopez said.
"He was running down the street and the police were coming up. They just jumped out and started shooting him," a female witness at the scene said. "They shot him like 11 times."
A crowd that gathered – in the densely populated area that's the center of LA's homeless community – turned angry.
'The crowd began to yell at the officers, so they took the suspect's body from the area, Lopez said.
Several individuals at the scene were detained, but the tension diffused.
Multiple blocks remained closed off at noon as an investigation was conducted. The market is across from the Los Angeles Mission, a homeless shelter, and LAPD's Central Division Station.
The name of the fatally wounded man was not immediately released.
City News Service contributed to this report.