Armed man is shot dead by police ‘who fired at him at point blank range’ at Huntington Beach where hundreds were gathered for US Surfing Open
- A man was shot dead by Huntington Beach police on Saturday afternoon
- It happened as the U.S. Open of Surfing was underway nearby
- Shooting occurred around 3:15pm close to the city’s pier where there were hundreds of people gathered
- Witnesses say they heard at least 10 shots, but it is still unclear what prompted officers to open fire
A man was shot and killed at Huntington Beach in Southern California on Saturday afternoon where hundreds of people were gathered nearby at the U.S. Open of Surfing competition.
The incident occurred at around 3:15pm close to the pier. Witnesses managed to capture the shooting on camera.
Pictures and video posted to Twitter sees the suspect lying on the sand surrounded by half a dozen police officers, many of them with their weapons drawn and aimed at the man.
Police shot and killed a man at close range at Huntington City Beach on Saturday afternoon as shocked witnesses watched and screamed from the pier and bike path
The shooting happened about 3:15pm on the sand, just south of the Huntington Beach Pier and near the pathway
Officers had received reports of a suspicious man with a gun and after making contact with the suspect and giving him multiple commands, he refused orders to drop his weapon, at which point police were forced to open fire.
After initial shots were fired, the man could be seen writhing on the sand before attempting to clamber to his feet.
Video shows the man raising his arm and holding a plastic bag in the air, before being shot several times.
The footage then seen another two officers opening fire at the man at point blank range.
Witnesses say three police officers were pursuing a man in a white t-shirt and jean shorts as he passed under the pier. Police said he had a gun and refused to drop the weapon
An ambulance was quickly on scene and the man was taken to hospital by ambulance
A portion of the beach was closed while paramedics attended and the man was loaded into an ambulance
Backup quickly arrived with the police setting up a perimeter to deal with the incident.
One eyewitness told TMZ police were chasing the man who had already been shot once by cops.
After jumping the wall he fell to the ground. Officers are said to have shouted orders for him to surrender his weapon but he refused.
‘We started hearing pop, pop, pop,’ said Hector Tovar who lives nearby to the OC Register. ‘I thought it was fireworks, that’s how many rounds there were.’
‘I thought I heard fireworks — when I turned around these cops were following the guy,’ Ana Leticia said on Twitter. ‘Then they shot him.’
A large portion of the beach was taped off. First aid was administered at the scene and the man was taken to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, police said.
‘We can confirm an officer involved shooting did occur at Huntington City Beach at approximately 3:15pm,’ Huntington Beach Police tweeted on Saturday. ‘There is no current public safety threat.’
The shooting took place near to a packed Huntington Beach where the US Open of Surfing is taking place
A Surf dog grabs his surfboard as dogs and owners make their way out to catch waves at the annual Surf City Surf Dog event at Huntington Beach
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will now lead the investigation into the officer involved shooting.
Local activists are calling for the officers involved to be held accountable, according to Tory Johnson, a founding member of Black Lives Matter in Huntington Beach.
‘This is what we’re fighting. We’re fighting police aggression, whether they are black, brown, purple,’ Johnson said. ‘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.’
The U.S. Open of Surfing is an annual weeklong competition next to the Huntington Beach pier that is scheduled to conclude on Sunday.