Los Angeles

Images Show Man Was Armed Before Deadly Deputy-Involved Shooting in Lynwood

Deputies fired 33 shots at a man who they said was holding a gun and refused to drop his weapon in Lynwood, California, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

At a press conference Sunday, the sheriff's department released images and surveillance video showing Nicholas Robertson, 28, holding a gun before deputies shot and killed him around 11 a.m. Saturday near Long Beach Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue.

Capt. Steve Katz of the sheriff's homicide unit said one deputy fired 16 shots at Robertson and another fired 17 shots.

Family members said Robertson was the father of an 8-year-old child and 7-year-old twins.

"I’ve been numb," said Robertson's aunt, Latrice Barkus, adding that she and other family members are skeptical of the official account.

Cellphone video obtained by NBC4 shows Robertson turning his back on deputies and walking away as he is shot. Deputies continue to shoot as Robertson crawls on the ground, the video shows.

Witnesses told investigators they saw the suspect turn and point the gun at deputies before they opened fire, sheriff's officials said. Images and video revealed at the press conference show Robertson was still holding a handgun while on the ground.

While it's unclear exactly what led up to the incident, the sheriff's department said it received at least six 911 calls Saturday after Robertson allegedly fired six or seven shots into the air.

Sheriff's officials said Robertson was "agitated" as he then walked out to a busy intersection, still holding the gun "in an odd way."

Katz said "public safety was critical" as Robertson walked with a handgun and into a gas station.

Deputies at the scene demanded he dropped the gun, but "the suspect did not comply and did not drop the handgun, at which time a deputy-involved shooting occurred," said Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Sheriff's Information Bureau.

Robertson was pronounced dead at the scene.

The sheriff's department said there was no evidence to show Robertson fired at deputies. His body was found with a .45-caliber handgun, and although no live rounds were in the gun, police found two rounds of ammunition nearby.

Deputies involved in the shooting were reassigned during the investigation, officials said. No deputies were injured.

Family members protested at the shooting site Sunday, and local civil rights leaders have asked Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to conduct an impartial, fast-tracked investigation into the incident.

Sheriff's homicide detectives asked anyone with information regarding the shooting to call them at 323-890-5500.

City News Services contributed to his report. 

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