Five police officers with the Los Angeles Police Department reportedly shot and killed a homeless man in the Skid Row section of Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, in an incident that was caught on video.
The victim, who went by the name "Africa," but whose identity has yet to be revealed, was reportedly shot five times by police, reports The Guardian.
A call was reportedly made to the LAPD early Sunday about a fight and possible robbery between Africa and another man in the area. When cops arrived on the scene, they say Africa "began fighting and physically resisting the officers," reports the Los Angeles Times. They allegedly tasered the victim, whom they claim struggled with police, before shooting him. One police officer was reportedly injured in the confrontation.
A woman passing by reportedly picked up a nightstick dropped by one of the officers and was handcuffed by two cops while the other officers continued to tackle Africa to the ground. At one point, one of the officers can reportedly be heard shouting, "Drop the gun, drop the gun," before five shots were fired. It has been reported that two officers and one sergeant shot the man.
Cmdr. Andrew Smith said there was a struggle at one point over one of the officer's weapons, which was when the man was shot. He said it is unclear whether the victim had a gun, but that no other weapons were recovered at the scene.
"It's always tragic when there's a loss of life in one of these situations," Smith said. "It's not an incident taken lightly by any police officer. But we are committed to everyone involved and to the public to conduct a thorough and complete investigation."
Smith said the LAPD is aware of a video and is looking for other videos that captured the incident, including those taken from a body camera worn by at least one officer.
At 9:30 p.m. Sunday people gathered at Pershing Square to protest the shooting.