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Critics Outraged LAPD Shot Suspect Who Pointed Fake Gun At Them

Los Angeles, CA – A man armed with a fake handgun pointed a weapon at officers prior to being fatally shot by police on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday morning, photos released by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) showed.

The incident began in the 6700-block of Hollywood Boulevard at approximately 11:20 a.m., after officers received multiple radio calls regarding “a man armed with a gun,” the LAPD tweeted on Thursday.

When police arrived in the area, they made contact with a male suspect.

Details regarding what transpired after the officers arrived are unclear, but police ended up shooting the suspect shortly thereafter, KCBS reported.

Still photographs taken from security and bodycam footage showed the armed man as he pointed an object directly at the officers.

“Exactly what the suspect did with that handgun that led the officers to fire at him will be determined through watching body-worn video and through interviewing the officers and the multiple witnesses that were here for the shooting,” LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar told reporters, according to KCBS.

The suspect was transported to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds, the LAPD said in the Twitter thread.

No officers were injured during the incident, but a female bystander suffered an unspecified injury, police said.

She was also transported to a local hospital.

Investigators have since determined the gun the suspect was carrying at the time of the shooting was a replica, the LAPD said.

Police also released a photograph of a knife they recovered at the scene.

The investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting remains ongoing.

“There is now known to be a replica handgun here at scene,” Det. Aguilar told KCBS. “Some of the comments of the calls indicated he pointed a gun at somebody, so they’re trying to determine what other criminal acts this person may have been involved in leading up to the officer-involved shooting.”

Critics were quick to bash the LAPD over the incident.

“Why was the officer’s gun drawn and not the taser that’s clearly visible on their hip?” one person responded on the department’s Twitter thread. “The backup officer could have had their firearm ready and the lead officer should have been using the non-lethal option. Your officer situational training is basically sanctioned murder.”

“They even admit that the ‘gun’ he had was a replica and not the real thing,” another commenter scoffed. “No danger existed, cops shot and killed a guy anyways, as well as injuring a third party.”

Despite the imminent threat, the officers should have simply backed away and assessed the situation better, one person wrote.

“Cops shouldn’t make a decision in a ‘split second’. They’re the ones who signed on to take a risk to protect the public. They, therefore, ought to protect the public, instead of themselves,” the commenter opined. “How hard is this: ‘back off, assess the situation’? We have repeatedly taken in actually violent offenders with real weapons safely. Why not safely take in the non-violent non-offender with a fake weapon? Why shoot him, when we blatantly don’t have to?”

Others criticized the LAPD for not calling for mental health services when the man pointed the weapon at them demanded the department provide “more de-escalation training” to its officers.

“Now you’ll investigate yourselves and find you’ve done nothing wrong,” one person wrote.

Another commenter said the officers should have easily recognized the suspect posed no threat to them.

“10 feet away and you f—king spazzes cant tell the difference between a gun and a lighter?” he scoffed.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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