A man was shot and wounded during a confrontation in the backroom of a medical marijuana collective Tuesday.
It happened early afternoon at the House of Buds on the ground floor of a mixed use building on Western Avenue near 83rd Street. Hearing the gunshot, patrons and employees fled onto the sidewalk.
The man wounded in the leg was not an employee, police said, but had yet to determine whether the shot occurred during an attempted robbery or some other scenario.
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"We're looking into that right now," said Sgt. Heidi Stoecklein of LAPD's 77th Division. Also being determined was who fired the shot.
The collective has several layers of security and locked doors.
"You heard like a clawing on the back door," said Lil Isaacs, who was inside the customer area and recalled seeing two of the workers go to the door to check, but could not open it.
"The next thing you know, you heard a pop. And I was like, 'Oh... somebody got shot.' And I was like, 'Let's go.' Then they came in and it was like, 'Everybody get out! Everybody get out!'" according to Isaacs.
The wounded man appeared to be conscious as paramedics moved him from the dispensary to an ambulance. He ended up in the backroom after asking to speak with the manager, according to an employee, who did not want to be identified.
Early on, half a dozen people were handcuffed as police tried to sort out what had happened. After questioning, all were released.
In the city of Los Angeles, medical marijuana collectives operate in a gray area of the law, legalized by state referendum, not recognized under federal law and regulated by city ordinance and Proposition D, intended to limit the number of dispensaries citywide to 135.