Man Critical After Officer-Involved Shooting

A man was shot and critically wounded by Long Beach police on the sidewalk of a trendy street in Belmont Shore Thursday in the second officer-involved shooting in Long Beach in less than 24 hours.

The shooting at Covina Avenue and Second Street occurred shortly after midnight, the Long Beach Police Department reported. No officers were hurt, said Officer Nancy Pratt, a department spokeswoman.

The victim appeared to be unresponsive as he was loaded into an ambulance to be transported to a hospital, said witnesses at the scene. The man was hospitalized in critical condition, Pratt said.

Pratt said the suspect reached for an officer's weapon.

"An officer arrived on scene and attempted to take the suspect into custody," Pratt said in a statement. "The suspect refused to comply with the officer's orders given to him on several occasions.

"The officer... deployed his police baton to attempt to obtain compliance. While attempting to take the suspect into custody, the suspect took the baton from the officer, and an officer-involved shooting occurred."

"In a situation like that, we don't know what his intentions are," said Pratt. "Our fears were that he was going to use it against the officer or other individuals."

Police questioned several people inside the nearby Legends Sports Bar following the shooting, which occurred on a street lined with shops, bars and restaurants. It was the second officer-involved shooting in Long Beach in 24 hours.

On Wednesday afternoon, Long Beach detectives conducting an investigation witnessed an unrelated drive-by shooting in Compton, prompting them to follow three males in a green Thunderbird, according to Long Beach police. Pratt said that during the pursuit, the suspects opened fire, striking the detectives' vehicle, but no one was hurt.

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The chase continued onto the southbound Long Beach (710) Freeway until the suspects exited at the Willow Street offramp. They parked their vehicle on the Willow Street overpass and remained in the vehicle for several minutes, police said. A short time later, uniform officers arrived and a shootout with the three suspects broke out, leaving all three wounded, along with an officer, Pratt said.

The officer, a man, was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, police said. One suspect was listed in critical condition, another was undergoing surgery late Wednesday, and the third was stable, according to Long Beach police.

The initial drive-by shooting, the pursuit shooting and the shootout on the overpass were being investigated by Long Beach police, the Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Office, according to Pratt. Anyone with information on Wednesday's incident was urged to call Long Beach police homicide detectives Mark McGuire or Hugo Cortes at 562-570-7244.
 

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