TORRANCE (CBSLA) — A man who police say was wielding a knife was shot to death Friday by officers in the parking lot of a Planet Fitness location in Torrance.

The shooting occurred just before 9 a.m. in the 20000 block of Hawthorne Boulevard, according to Torrance police Sgt. Ronald Harris.

Officers responded to the location on “a service call involving a subject brandishing a knife in the area of Planet Fitness,” he said.

Police say the suspect – described as in his 30s -had a folding knife that was approximately four inches in length, which he was waving around in the parking lot.

Witnesses said the man was holding a snake and doing some sort of “ritualistic dance” with the snake in the parking lot, according to CBS2’s Michele Gile.

An aquarium was spotted at the scene, but no snake was spotted at the location.

When the man refused to comply with officers’ commands and continued toward them, the officer-involved shooting occurred, said Harris.

(credit: CBS)

“He decided he had enough of all this and he gets up and starts amping himself up, and then turns around and goes walking straight at the officers with no intent to stop as far as I’m concerned,” said witness Brandon Hallock.

“They opened fire on him and he just went down,” he added.

SKY9 captured images of what appeared to a firearm of some sort at the scene, but there was no confirmation of the type of weapon.

There was no immediate information available on the suspect, who died at the scene, Harris said.

No officers were injured.

The crime scene at an officer-involved shooting in Torrance. (credit: CBS2)

Comments (38)
  1. Can’t live with them.
    Won’t live near them.

    1. Arm chair second guessers are a dime a dozen. Ask them to stand up in the face of a life threatening situation and they run for the hills.

      1. Pretty arrogant of you to say. The guy had a snake and a 4 in knife? Ever heard of a taser? Think that might have been a better substitute than shooting him dead? That you think killing this guy is ok makes you apart of the problem.

  2. James Wallin says:

    See he’s a white guy getting shot by police. it’s the crazy that gets you shot, not your skin color.

    1. chefjimmie1 says:

      Can you imagine the outcry if the perp was black?

      1. bertdilbert says:

        If he was black, he would have been tased, the cops would have avoided the stigma of shooting a black in white Torrance.

  3. Nick Solari says:

    Multiple cops couldn’t handle one guy with a knife? They HAD to shoot and kill this man?

    1. Stop with your stupid 2nd guessing. That’s not your job.

    2. roughman998 says:


    3. I am not a cop but if you come at me with a knife I Promise your gonna get shot

  4. Nice job cops ! I’ll bet your body cams were turned off, out of pepper spray, taser wasn’t charged, and you were late for your donut break ! Are you sure you shot him enough times ? Suicide by cops ! Heroic..

  5. stinkin says:

    I dont second guess the cops, but what happened to leg shots first? Guess you have to be there.

  6. David Olson says:

    He decided the outcome of this confrontation, NOT the officers.

  7. Chris Bee says:

    Kind of like this scene in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’– : )

  8. Pansy cops had to commit murder instead of tazing him and calling an ambulance? They literally murdered a human being, they could’ve shot him in the leg but they chose to murder him, it means they are murderers and should be trusted as such.

  9. Saw this on Drudge. Left for for more real California news.

  10. Maybe police ought to carry tranquilizer guns for when they encounter crazy people.

  11. He was committing the crime of acting weird. When did it become a crime?
    The police spokesman said he was brandishing a knife. Were the police brandishing pistols?
    The police spokesman said the cops were using less than lethal ammunition, why is he dead? Why didn’t they use a taser? Why didn’t they use billy clubs? Why didn’t they run away, if they were frightened? Why was their choice to shoot him?
    The cop that shot him is a murderer, who can only be exonerated by a jury. If I had done exactly the same thing as the cop, I would be tried for murder. Why do they skate? Because the “justice” system is corrupt.

  12. see, they tried all that other stuff with Rodney King. Remember how that went? maybe if they had just shot ole Rodney, LA doesn’t burn?

  13. The police went less than lethal, really trying to end this peacefully. He brought this on himself.

  14. SW (@_s75w) says:

    All the leftist nuts are triggered now…lol

    But what happened to the snake!? lol

  15. That was definitely the proper thing to do. The officers should be commended.

  16. “Anti-racists” say there’s a RACE problem. They say it’ll be solved when non-Whites pour into ALL & ONLY White nations and “assimilate” to get a brown mixture.

    They say only White nations have this RACE problem; they say non-White nations are fine.

    If I object to my own genocide these “anti-racists” say I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they’re anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  17. Don’t see the need here to kill the guy. Obviously needed psychiatric/spiritual help, not 5 caps to the chest and head. No wonder people hate the police. I could understand if he actually hurt someone or even threatened someone. But this??

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