Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man outside a gas station in Lynwood on Saturday morning, the Los Angeles Times reports. At a news conference on Sunday, officials showed a video and photos in which the man, 28-year-old Nicholas Robertson, appeared to be holding a gun.
He entered at least one business on the boulevard, “behaving erratically with gun in hand,” said Capt. Steve Katz of the sheriff’s homicide unit. A video displayed at the news conference showed Robertson on the street appearing to hold a gun as the two deputies arrived.
Katz said “public safety was critical here” because there were people on the street, including some at a gas station that Robertson was walking toward. Robertson at one point pointed the gun in the deputies’ direction and ignored their commands for him to drop the weapon, he said.
The deputies opened fire, and in the video released Saturday, continued to shoot as Robertson was crawling. Authorities said he was continuing to hold the gun at that time. In all, one deputy fired 16 shots and the other fired 17.
Katz said that Robertson refused officer’s orders to drop his weapon even after having been shot. Police shared a still image, taken from security footage, which they said showed Robertson holding onto a gun. “When he collapsed, his arms were underneath him, and the gun was still in his hand,” Katz said. “There was never a time when the weapon was not in his possession.”
Katz estimated that the entire confrontation, from the time officers first ordered Robertson to drop the gun until the shooting was over, lasted about 30 seconds.
Asked if the officers were white, Katz said no but would not elaborate.
At least one other video of the shooting, taken by a witness, has been uploaded to social media.
“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,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement.
“It will involve, not just one source of information, but numerous sources, potentially including multiple videos, physical evidence and eyewitness accounts.”