LONG BEACH (AP) — Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell says a man shot to death by two officers during the weekend was found to have pointed a black pistol-grip water nozzle at them.

McDonnell told a news conference Monday that the shooting happened Sunday afternoon when the officers were trying to contain the seemingly intoxicated man but not confront him after receiving a 911 call from an apartment resident saying someone was sitting outside with a small gun.

McDonnell says the officers believed the man had a gun and were awaiting the arrival of backup when the man pointed the object in a two-handed posture that looked like what a person would do when they are about to fire a weapon.

The man, identified as 35-year-old Douglas Zerby, died at the scene.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (33)
  1. Veritas/Dignitas says:

    Cops really need to KNOW what they are doing. The mans death was totally unacceptable! Shoot first ask questions later? Bet cops were white and the MURDERED man was a person of color. Hey, it will whitewashed as usual.

    1. edward says:

      you are a genious with a great comment except that the guy was white!!!!! Your comment was not only ignorant but moronic also.

    2. shoe says:

      Nope, dude was caucasian

    3. tm says:

      The murdered man was white. Way to play the race card.

  2. Arcadian Duran says:

    death by cop, regardless anyone taunting the police should be shot really, they are not in their right mind, to tease police and expect a payout from the families.
    so the man got what he deserved.
    i dont care if he was drugged out of his mind and didnt know what he was doing. he got what he deserved

    1. Rose says:

      I hope none of your family members ever become in this situation, will you feel the same

      1. Karen says:

        I completely disagree that the police were justified.

        The least they could have done is given him a warning – like DROP THE WEAPON.

        They did not say a word. They just shot their guns.

        What a bunch of wusses. I feel so sorry for this family. His sister said it best. He was waiting for a ride home so that he would not drive drunk. \

        What is wrong with the police here in So Cal? Jerry Brown – I suggest that we eliminate this Long Beach Police Department to shave some of our massive debt.

    2. Duh! says:

      Quick, all criminals rob Karen. She won’t believe that you have a gun when there is a report that you are holding a gun, so the police won’t do anything to stop you.

      1. Karen says:

        This is just a silly response. Not to mention someone said the cops were 30-40 feet away. Some punk was trigger happy and now a family grieves.

  3. Amos Adamsel says:

    that dont sound right……..

    1. Trisha says:

      Doesn’t would be the correct word.

  4. Dewayne Price says:

    Everyone hates cops until they need one lol. You guys put yourselves in their shoes. I am not going to wait an extra second to make sure it is a gun and not a water nozzle. Dispatch informed them witnesses saw a man holding a small gun. He pulls out a metallic, black water nozzle and holds it in a fassion one would hold a gun. Enough said, Good shoot, and good job making it home yet another day LBPD Officers.

  5. rumrazor says:

    Keep in mind that on the news earlier this week that there was a seperate standoff where an officer was wounded by a knife-wileding man in Long Beach and that guns have been pulled on police officers in Watts and Corona where the officers were forced to defend themselves. All that happenned this week alone. The Holiday Season is hard on the depressed, the bipolar, the desperate, and yes, some seek suicide by cop. Unfortunately, many utilize real weapons for this kind of thing. Don’t judge the officers for being judicial, performing their duties, and protecting themselves.

  6. Justin says:

    happens, police felt they were in dangered, a black pistol shape hose nozzle, in the dark, and someone reported that he had a gun, they cant just get close, because what if it was a real gun?? they could of been shot, i watched a video of a secret service member who was about to gun down a 13 year old, who had a pistol shaped item pointed at the president, he stopped only because he saw it was bright red if it was black (instead of red) no doubt that 13 year old would of been shot

    1. Sonny says:

      According to the newscast, it was 4:30 pm at the time of response.

  7. Karen says:

    I am so angry about this. They shot him dead WITHOUT A WARNING. The cops involved should be fired and the city better be prepared for a huge payout. There was NO reason NOT to give him a warning. I am getting so tired of the police in So Cal. They are annihilators.

    1. Pat says:

      A warning ??? Are you joking ??? By the time they give a warning the person could get off several rounds and the officer would be dead. What the hell is wrong with you people !! You all lack common sense in a big way !!

  8. Sonny says:

    So they couldn’t taser him because he was 30-40 ft away YET they felt they had enough sound judgement from that distance to deem it was a weapon and KILL a man. Way to go ‘protectors of us citizens.’

  9. ALAN says:

    One less fool to breed and reproduce more half witted morons THANK YOU officers

    1. Malcolm says:

      He was somebody’s son, somebody’s brother. Do you know what it feels like to lose someone close to you so senselessly?

    2. Sonny says:

      So a fool with a God-complex is better? You ain’t in no position to deal life or death to anybody.

  10. Gammonaire1 says:

    The images of gunshot and shotgun patterns in walls and the distance to perp. .. and position seem to make no sense from the statement of the police. lots and lots of force.

  11. Cop Supporter says:

    Got to love how everyone second guess police officers. Why don’t you get up off your butts and come do their job. See how you like putting your life on the everyday. Why should cops be shot at first or killed first? So until you have been there, shut up.

  12. Denny says:

    I always thought the L.B.P.D. was a top notch police department but I was wrong. The L.B.P.D. is just another small town police force.

  13. Marissa says:

    I can just see a huge lawsuit for the L.B.P.D.

  14. Vrenn says:

    I wouldn’t say that the man got what he deserved, but he did get what was coming. I’ve read some of these comments, and honestly, you can’t blame the officers for what they did. I mean how do we even know the officers didn’t give a warning? Just because it wasn’t written in this article doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. If anything, it could have been the writer’s fault for not including that tidbit of detail into this article.
    Then there’s this whole thing about not handling the situation correctly. I wonder if you were in their shoes, would you have walked up and told the man, who was reported INTOXICATED, to put his weapon down? The person responds by pointing a possible weapon at you, intending to fire, will you stand there as a shooting target, risk innocent bystanders from being shot from stray bullets, or do you take action by shooting him first? Pepper spray, tazer guns, aren’t as accurate enough nor do they react in time to stop someone about to spray bullets into the streets. It would have been fine if it were a knife or bat in his hand, that way the accuracy to use a pepper spray or tazer would be more effective. But when you’re talking about a person with a gun? Distance with a fire arm will be the most responsive approach to take in this matter.
    And honestly, the guy TURNED and was PREPARING to fire his firearm, you don’t have minutes to think what to do, you have only 2 – 3 seconds to act. Like I said, he got what was coming to him.

  15. Astonished says:

    You know, for those of you who don’t appreciate your law enforcement agencies, there are two very simple remedies. 1) Don’t ever call them to protect you. 2) Move to a country were there are no police to protect you. Otherwise, unless you have don’t their job and stared a probably armed suspect in the face, butt out!

  16. MOMMYENVY says:


  17. janecitizen11 says:

    The officers were completely justified in this shooting. I am positive if anyone else had what they believed to be a gun pointing at them, they would shoot too. Police do NOT have to be shot at in order for them to shoot. Their lives were in danger and a rational human would not point anything at a police officer. THANK GOD FOR LBPD!!!

  18. mike says:

    Some of you people are stupid. The man acted as if he had a gun. Shoot him…

  19. fanspeed says:

    this is what happens when you give a badge and a gun to the kids that were picked on in high school.

  20. bliz says:

    this guy owed me $ and is and was always a drunk. sad story still, but he was nearly always intoxicated

  21. Reed says:

    ALWAYS attempt to disarm suspect (shoot hand or shoulder)
    BEFORE you resort to kill shots (head, heart)

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