A man shot dead by Los Angeles police had "forcibly" tried to grab for one officer's holstered weapon during the fatal Skid Row struggle captured on body cam video, Los Angeles' police chief said Monday.
A screengrab from one of several witness videos shows that the man, the subject of a 911 call to report a robbery, reached for an officer's waist where his holstered weapon was located Sunday during the altercation before officers shot and killed him, Chief Charlie Beck said at a Monday morning news conference.
The slide of the officer's gun was partly engaged, and its magazine was dislodged, indicating it was part of struggle, Beck said as he displayed pictures of the weapon.
He also said an officer in the video said "He has my gun" several times before three other officers opened fire in what the chief described as a tragedy.
"He forcibly grabbed one of the officers' holstered pistols," Beck said, adding that a round had been partially ejected from the gun's chamber. "This is indicative of a struggle over the weapon.
"This is an extreme tragedy. We feel great compassion in the LAPD for people who live in conditions of homelessness and, often, mental illness with no treatment. We prepare our officers to deal as best we can with them, but the reality is this much more than a problem that police along can solve."
Mayor Eric Garcetti was expected to discuss the case at a 1 p.m. meeting with staff members.
Two Los Angeles Police Department officers involved in Sunday's altercation that led to the fatal shooting were wearing a body cameras, providing police with another video for review in the department investigation, Beck said Monday.
Video from the camera was being obtained Sunday night by the LAPD's special Force Investigative Division, LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said Monday morning.
Several witness videos also show the midday shooting that occurred after the victim of the robbery report pointed officers to the man on Skid Row. Officers responding to the robbery report encountered the man in 500 block of South San Pedro Street, outside of the Union Rescue Mission.
The man can be seen on a bystander's video recording swinging his arms as officers approach. The man repeatedly refused to comply with officers' commands and a stun gun had "little effect," Beck said.
"While on the ground, the suspect and officers struggled over one of the officer's handguns and then an officer-involved shooting occurred," the LAPD said in a statement.
Local news from across Southern California
Officers first used a stun gun on the man, whose identity was not released early Monday. At least five rounds were fired, police said.
"They struggled with him, they tried to Tase him a couple of times," said Smith. "That was ineffective. Eventually, the struggle occurred where the officers were struggling with the individual over the officer's weapon."
The subject died at the scene. Two officers suffered minor injuries.
Video from the Rescue Mission's security camera reveals the man was involved in an earlier altercation with another person some 40 minutes before police arrived.
However vagrants who live in the area believe the police are at least partially responsible for what transpired.
"You can't tell me five officers can't take down one man. What about police training?" One homeless man said,"I think they treated him like they normally treat homeless people on Skid Row, with disrespect, with harassment."
It was not immediately clear whether the body camera video would be released. In December, the city announced it would purchase 7,000 of the cameras, worn on the front of an officer's uniform. The announcement was an expansion to the existing pilot program that provided 600 body cameras through private donations.
Police also plan to interview witnesses and have asked others with video to come forward. LAPD also has contacted Union Rescue Mission to determine whether its camera system captured the shooting.
President Barack Obama announced late last year that he wants $263 million in federal funds to go toward training police officers and buying body cameras. The request came in the wake of protests over a grand jury's decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old black man, in Ferguson, Missouri.
Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.