Police: Shoplifter Killed by Officers After He Fired Gun at Security Guard

Police said a shoplifter who fired a gun at a security guard inside a Los Angeles mall Wednesday evening was killed in an officer-involved shooting.

The alleged theft took place at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, police said. Los Angeles firefighters responded to the call just after 7 p.m.

The alleged shoplifter was confronted by two security guards in the mall. He then pulled out a gun to started firing.

"My son said, 'mom, someone is shooting.' And then the next thing we saw a guy running across the mall and then a lady pushed us to the back of TJ Maxx and we stayed at TJ Maxx for about 45 minutes," shopper Melissa Vanvactor said. 

The gunman then left the mall and began running towards homes southwest of the mall. The LAPD blocked streets until they found the suspect.
"A canine conducted an area search and located the suspect at which time an officer-involved shooting occurred," LAPD Deputy Chief Bob Green.
The suspect was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The mall security guards were not hurt.

A video shot by an NBC4 viewer showed the confrontation between the suspect and police officers happened in the garage of a home near the mall.
Don Wilson, the owner of the home, said officers were doing a house-to-house search when a K-9 unit was alerted to something in the garage. Officers then entered the garage and shot the suspect
"We just want to go on with our lives," Wilson said as a crime scene clean-up crew worked at his home.
A woman who identified herself as a "good friend" of the gunman said she is at a loss about why he did what he did.

NBC4's Samia Khan contributed to this report.

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