HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — An investigation continued Monday into the fatal shooting of a man in his 20s who may have been shoplifting at a Hollywood Walgreens store.
Police officers responded to a report of a shooting at the store on Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street at about 8 p.m. Sunday. The initial investigation suggests that the altercation that ended up with a deadly shooting started with what was believed to be a shoplifting incident.
The man, identified by friends only as “Sky,” reportedly fought with the security guard, who had been hired by Walgreens. During the altercation, the security guard opened fired on him and hit him in the upper body.
The man later died at a hospital.
The man had carried an item close to the door to use the ATM, according to one man who asked not to be identified. He said he also was at the store and knew the man, who he said suffered from mental illness.
“He got scared and ran, and then the security guard took out his gun and shot him,” he said. “I never seen nobody get killed and I don’t know why the security guard didn’t use his Taser.”
The witness added that the guard had been carrying a Taser and a gun, but this was not confirmed by police.
A woman says she was with the unidentified man, and they had gone to the store to return something, and that the guard has shot her friend in the back as he was trying to run away.
“There was no point for something petty, but you don’t get to take a life over something so trivial,” the unidentified woman said.
Detectives continue to investigate at the store, which remains closed, and will examine security video from the store’s surveillance system.
“We’re still trying to determine exactly what happened, how this thing escalated from simple theft into this deadly incident,” LAPD Lt. John Radtke said.
The security guard has not been arrested. Police say the evidence will be submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, who will determine whether charges should be filed.
Walgreens released the following statement:
“We’re deeply concerned about this incident and the loss of life. We’re gathering facts and fully cooperating with law enforcement in the ongoing investigation of the incident. The safety and security of all our customers and employees is our top priority.”