Police said the situation started with a 911 call about a man with a gun around 11 am in the 1000 block of East 17th Street, which is just east of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. When officers arrived, they found the man on top of the two-story building.
A maintenance worker at the scene said he was one of the people who encountered the man before police arrived. The worker, who asked not to be named because he was still shaken up, said he was painting the apartment building when he stopped to get a drink of water. That’s when he saw the man run towards him and climb up his ladder. Once the man got up, the worker said, the man knocked the ladder over and refused to come down.
The worker said the man appeared to be upset or having some kind of episode, so he offered him a drink of water before seeing the gun and fleeing. Police soon arrived and surrounded the building.
A video provided by a neighbor shows the man holding and waving something shaped like a handgun. He paces back and forth across the roof, at times yelling, “I’m not pointing it.”
In the video, police periodically fire less-lethal foam rounds at him, some of which bounce off his body. When he extends his hand with what appears to be the handgun in it, there’s a sound of louder rounds, and he collapses to the rooftop. He sits up on the rooftop and someone yells “help” before the video ends. Another video shows him standing up and stumbling before again sitting down and slumping forward.
Police said they tried several de-escalation techniques before shooting at the man. They could not immediately confirm whether the man was struck by the gunfire or confirm how he died. They also could not immediately confirm whether the handgun he’d been holding was a real firearm or a replica.
“We are still investigating, and this is going to be a lengthy investigation,” Officer Paige White said.
Police said they could not immediately provide an exact time when officers fired at the man. If accurate, metadata from the video provided to the Post shows it was about 11:30 am when the gunshots appear to ring out.
After police fired at the man, heavily armed officers in tactical gear climbed a ladder onto the roof around 1 pm The man appeared to be unresponsive as they approached.
Officers in tactical gear just approached the man. He appeared to be unresponsive, and officers could be seen performing chest compressions on him after apparently dragging him away from his weapon. pic.twitter.com/jDUqENzcOJ
– Long Beach Post (@LongBeachPost) July 9, 2022
After dragging him away from his apparent weapon, the officers could be seen performing chest compressions on him. Fire crews soon assessed the man and discontinued any treatment.