LOS ANGELES (MEDIA GENERAL) – “Now a crowd is gathering. Please pray for safety of all,” wrote Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of the Union Rescue Mission. His comment on Twitter came after three police officers shot and killed a man on the city’s Skid Row while wrestling with him on the ground.
Authorities say the man was shot after he tried grabbing for an officer’s gun. The shooting was captured on video by someone standing nearby. It’s been viewed millions of times online.
What the video shows
The video starts with six officers, two of which break away to subdue and handcuff a woman who had picked up one of their dropped batons. Four of the officers remain around the man standing up. They were trying to arrest him on suspicion of robbery.
He can be seen swinging at officers while moving toward them. Then, he ends up on the ground.
The struggling continues between the man and the officers. You can hear someone say what sounds like “Drop the gun.” Then, you hear a noise that sounds like a taser.
Then, there’s more shouting that sounds like “Drop the gun. Drop the gun.” Then, five shots are heard. The man lies motionless.
You hear someone who watched the shooting yell at the officers, “Y’all got him tased. Why y’all shoot that man?”
What police say
After the shooting, police can be seen drawing their batons and warning the crowd to get back. After the shooting, police addressed reporters and said tasing the man had been ineffective. Witnesses told CNN, they had seen the man getting tased before the video started rolling, and he continued to fight with police.
There’s more video
Police said three officers fired weapons. An investigation is underway and police will analyze more videos of the incident including, according to CNN, officer body cams and nearby surveillance video.
The man who died
Witnesses told the Los Angeles Times that the man was known on the street as “Africa.” The witnesses said the man had been on Skid Row for four or five months, living amid the tents, sleeping bags and trash that are common in the area where many of the city’s homeless stay.
*The Associated Press contributed to this story