LYNWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Two sheriff’s deputies fired their weapons at least 25 times and a man — reportedly wielding a gun — was killed Saturday in Lynwood.
The shooting occurred about 11 a.m. in the area of Long Beach Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue, said Deputy Sara Rodriguez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The incident was on the motel-lined commercial street, about seven blocks south of the 105 Freeway.
Authorities said deputies were dispatched to the area following reports of a “man with a gun” and “shots fired” call.
A graphic cellphone video of the incident appears to show two officers firing as many as 25 times at the suspect. The suspect is shown crawling away. It was unclear from the vantage point of the video if the deceased was still holding a weapon after hitting the ground.
The suspect was described by various callers as a black male wearing a checkered shirt.
Deputies approached the suspect in front of a busy Arco station. They said the suspect refused multiple orders to drop his gun.
Authorities also said the suspect pointed his weapon — a loaded .45 — at deputies.
Officials did not release the suspect’s name pending notification of his next of kin.
But relatives on the scene told KCAL9’s Rebecca Ferriter the deceased is named Nicholas Robertson, a 28-year-old father of three.
Community activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson and other civil rights activists on Saturday accused police of using excessive force. They also asked for a fast-track investigation into the shooting by LA County DA Jackie Lacey.
“The shooting of Robertson comes on the heels of the Chicago Police videotaped release of the shooting of Jacquan McDonald and is eerily similar,” Hutchison said, “You have a suspect that’s on the ground and subdued yet officers still keep pumping bullets into him. This is both reckless and excessive use of force. And given tension in the community over these types of shootings it makes it even more urgent that Lacey conduct a full, fast and impartial investigation and quickly release her findings.”
Ferriter spoke to Robertson’s friends and family at the scene.
“They shot him in his shoulder, and he was crawling to this gas station,” said Pamela Brown, Robertson’s mother-in-law.
She doesn’t believe Robertson had a gun and she doesn’t understand why deputies fired so many rounds.
“He left three kids behind,” she said, “Two daughters and a son. What?? They could have Tased him. Or anything.”
Several people gathered at the scene calling the shooting unjustified and accusing the deputies of excessive force.
In a statement. LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said, “I want to assure the public that the Sheriff’s Department takes deputy-involved shootings very seriously and this investigation will be handled with the utmost professionalism and integrity. In this modern age of cellphone video and instant analysis on the internet I would ask that we keep in mind that a thorough and comprehensive investigation is detailed and time intensive. Our number one priority is public safety.”
Meanwhile, Brown said even though it won’t bring her son-in-law back, she wants answers.
“I’m not mad at them,” she said, “but you should have handled this in a different way.”
Sheriff’s homicide detectives asked anyone with any information regarding the shooting — other witnesses or possible victims — to call them at (323) 890-5500.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)