Huntington Beach, CA – Police fatally shot a man with a gun on Huntington Beach Saturday afternoon as bystanders nearby watched and filmed the incident that took place shortly after the U.S. Open of Surfing had finished for the day (video below).
The incident occurred at about 3:15 p.m. on Sept. 25, just as the major surfing competition was ending for the day, KCAL reported.
Huntington Beach police said they received a call for a man with a gun near the pier.
Police said that when officers arrived on the scene, they gave “multiple commands” for the man to drop his gun, but he ignored their orders, KCAL reported.
A cell phone video captured by a bystander showed that the gunman – later identified as 43-year-old Ronnie Andrew Garcia – raised his arm and pointed something concealed under a t-shirt at officers.
That’s when multiple officers opened fire on Garcia.
The video showed that Garcia dropped to the sand and started rolling around after he was shot.
But then he frantically reached for the t-shirt he had dropped on the ground next to him which police said concealed the handgun he had been carrying.
Officers opened fire again, the video showed.
The video appeared dramatic with little puffs of sand kicking up all around Garcia.
Officers in the video shopped shooting when Garcia stopped trying to get up, the video showed.
“We started hearing pop, pop, pop,” witness Hector Tovar told the Orange County Register. “I thought it was fireworks, that’s how many rounds there were.”
Garcia was transported to the hospital via ambulance where he died, according to KCAL.
“It was pretty surreal,” witness Chet Davidson said. “We were right over there in the grass area. We heard the first shots fired [and] wasn’t too sure, but everybody was running, everybody was running away from it.”
“It was just scary to see the cops, like, kinda pointing their guns at someone – pop, pop, pop, pop – more like 10 or 11 shots,” Rhonda Davidson agreed.
Rhonda Davidson said their family were long-time Huntington Beach enthusiasts and had never seen anything like that happen before, KCAL reported.
“Never happens ever, like, that we’ve been here,” she said. “We’ve been coming here for years in the summer, all summer… nothing like that ever.”
“I’m not scared,” Rhonda Davison added. “I mean, obviously, I’m here, but I’m glad there’s police presence.”
Police recovered a gun at the scene, KCAL reported.
We can confirm an officer involved shooting did occur at Huntington City Beach at approximately 3:15pm. There is no current public safety threat. More details will be released as they become available.
— Huntington Beach PD (@HBPoliceDept) September 25, 2021
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is heading up the investigation into the officer-involved shooting, KCAL reported.
Activists immediately began organizing to protest the shooting, the Orange County Register reported.
Tory Johnson, the founder of Black Lives Matter – Huntington Beach, called for the officers who shot Garcia to be held accountable.
“This is what we’re fighting. We’re fighting police aggression, whether they are Black, brown, purple,” Johnson told the Orange County Register. “What we are saying is you can’t go around killing minorities, and you can’t treat people a certain way just because they look different from you, or they don’t fit the mold of an average citizen in our city.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:
WARNING: Some viewers may find the following video disturbing, Viewer discretion is advised.
An allegedly armed man who was shot by Huntington Beach police today has died, authorities confirmed. pic.twitter.com/z5onFFrSSr
— LaPuente626sgv (@LaPuente626sgv) September 26, 2021