Deputies Fatally Shoot ‘Belligerent' Gym Member Swinging Electric Hair Clippers Outside 24 Hour Fitness

The man had been asked to leave the gym two hours earlier after bothering women

A man who had been asked to leave a gym Tuesday night after bothering people who were working out was fatally shot Wednesday during an altercation with deputies outside in a nearby parking lot, authorities said.

The shooting occurred just after 11 p.m. Tuesday at a 24 Hour Fitness in the 5000 block of Slauson Avenue, about five miles north of Los Angeles International Airport, according to Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. Deputies first used a stun gun, then opened fire when the man approched the lawmen and began swinging an object above his head, according to investigators.

The objected turned out to be an electric hair clippers attached to a power cord.

The chaotic night began around 8:30 p.m., when gym employees reported that the man was acting belligerent and was asked to leave, according to Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Witnesses said he was bothering women at the gym.

When deputies arrived at the gym, the man complied and left the property. He was then told by the gym that his membership would be suspended.

Hours later, the man returned and started acting "belligerent" once again, Mendoza said. This time he did not comply with any of the deputies' orders. 

Deputies attempted to shock him with a stun gun, but failed. The man walked away and pulled out an electronic device from his backpack, and deputies attempted to shock him again.

The object was described as a tethered weapon that he began to swing over his head. That's when the man lunged toward the deputies and the shooting took place, according to investigators.

The man was shot in the upper body and died later at the hospital, Mendoza said.

The object turned out to be an electric razor attached to a cord, investigators said. 

Cellphone video from a viewer, who asked to not be named, shows the moments that led up to the shooting.

The video shows the deputies deploying a stun gun at the man in front of the gym before the confrontation moved to an empty parking lot. The video shows at least three deputies standing over the man, yelling at him to stay on the ground. 

No deputies were injured.

The following statement was issued by 24 Hour Fitness: "The safety and security of our members and team members is our utmost priority. We are aware of an incident that occurred behind our facility located at 5045 W. Slauson Avenue in Los Angeles and are deeply saddened by the loss of life. We are working closely with local authorities on this matter. Given that this is an active law enforcement investigation, all inquiries should be directed to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department."

Kristina Bugante contributed to this report.

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