BALDWIN HILLS (CBSLA) – A man brandishing a knife was shot and killed Tuesday night by Los Angeles police in a busy shopping mall in Baldwin Hills.
The suspect, who has not been identified, was shot dead near the Sears store in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza located at 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
According to police, officers were called to the mall at approximately 5:45 p.m. on a report of a loud man carrying a knife. Witnesses told dispatchers the man was acting strangely when he was approached by mall security.
Arriving officers attempted to get the man to drop the weapon, police said. He refused and tried to run away, prompting them to open fire on him. He died at the scene. No one else was hurt.
“He popped out a knife, and then, after the knife, police drew their weapons, and then, he was trying to run away,” witness Juan Zepeda said.
“It wasn’t like, it was just open, like on some of these things, where it’s open field, and he just takes off and runs,” said witness Tim Williams, a retired police officer himself. “There’s too many people around, and this guy is just causing a threat.”
It was not immediately confirmed exactly how many officers opened fire on the suspect.
Cell phone video taken by witnesses showed several officers with guns drawn approaching the suspect after he had been struck by gunfire.
His body was taken to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office early Wednesday morning. The investigation into the circumstances that led up to the shooting is ongoing.
The mall was closed following the shooting, but was expected to reopen Wednesday.