STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — A man police suspect fired shots into the air has died following a police shooting in Studio City.
Police said officers received a public disturbance radio call around 3:20 p.m. Friday of a “man with a gun.”
When police arrived to Ventura Boulevard and Vantage Avenue, they encountered the suspect, who witnesses said was seated in front of Union Bank with a handgun raised in the air.
“He was hunched over and I noticed six spray paint cans all taped together looking like a bomb and I see him hunched over and he’s just leaning over just with his head down and he’s holding a gun in his hand,” Nikos Batanides, a witness, said.
According to at least one witness, the suspect had fired at least one round into the air, at which point, he was swarmed by police and an officer-involved shooting occurred.
“They were very loud. They were very clear. They were like, ‘Put the gun down. Put your hands in the air,’ but the guy was just disoriented,” Batanides said.
The man, who has yet to be identified, was killed. Officer Herrera with the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that an officer-involved shooting had occurred, but it’s still not known whether the suspect shot himself prior to being shot by police.
Two suspicious devices were also located at the scene, prompting the bomb squad to be called.
“We brought in the bomb squad to ensure that the device was rendered safe,” Officer Stephen Carmona of the LAPD said.
A robot made its way toward the devices and subsequently detonated both, according to footage from the scene. Officials said the devices were “rendered safe.”
Det. Meghan Aguilar, a public information officer for the LAPD, said the devices caused concern as they had been close enough to the suspect to believe that they were “on him or immediately in his vicinity.”
“We just received word that the bomb squad has determined that there was nothing explosive attached to the body and that that individual is deceased,” she said during an afternoon news conference.
Claudia Peschiutta of KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO reports that a gun was located near the suspect’s body, according to police.
The incident also prompted the closure of Ventura Boulevard from Lauren Canyon Boulevard to Laurelgrove Avenue as police investigate, snarling traffic in the area, and stranding about a dozen vehicles.
Officers, according to Aguilar, could remain at the scene for the next 14 hours; Ventura Boulevard was expected to remain closed until at least midnight. For traffic conditions, listen to KNX 1070 Newsradio.