A half-naked man was fatally shot by a Los Angeles police officer early Friday, Jan. 14 after a struggle with police on a Playa Vista street, authorities said.
The incident took place at about 3:30 a.m. in the 5200 block of Crescent Park after the suspect arrived in a taxi from Hollywood, police said. The suspect reportedly did not pay the taxi fare and after an argument with the driver, the suspect removed his clothes and began running around the street, yelling, said Los Angeles Police Department Commander Andrew Smith of the West Bureau.
Police received several calls regarding a disturbance and two officers contacted the man, convincing him to put on boxer shorts, Smith said. As officers attempted to detain the man, he continued to run to an alcove outside a building.
A struggle ensued and at some point, one of the officers shot the suspect in a “very serious altercation,” Smith said. The suspect, who was believed to be in his 30s, was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, he said. The two officers received minor injuries in the struggle.
Smith said it was unknown if the suspect, who was not armed, reached for a weapon during the struggle.
Two other police officers were injured in a car crash en route to the scene in the 4200 block of Centinela Avenue, police said. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
One Playa Vista resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he saw the suspect wearing no shirt running from police and heard him yell, “I live here, this is my unit.” The resident, who said he heard at least one gunshot, called the shooting “highly unusual” for the Playa Vista development.
Smith said police have not confirmed if the suspect was a resident but believe he may have been staying with someone at Playa Vista.
The shooting is under investigation.