A Huntington Beach, California, police officer shot a man outside of a 7-Eleven store seven times on Friday morning. The suspect grabbed the officer’s gun magazine, according to police reports.
A video of the Huntington Beach police officer firing seven rounds into the suspect quickly went viral after the shooting. The 7-Eleven suspect was transported to a local hospital where he died around 9:30 a.m. on Friday.
Witnesses to the shooting maintain the suspect grabbed the California police officer’s gun from his duty belt before the shooting took place and after both men are shown wrestling on the ground. The video of the shooting appears to indicate the suspect was holding the handgun magazine after he slumped onto the concrete pavement, according to a Daily Mail report.
The unidentified suspect appears to be a young white male with long black hair and wearing all black clothing. The Huntington Beach police officer fired six rounds into the suspect in rapid fashion but the suspect still remained on his feet. It remains unclear if the suspect was armed during the struggle. The fatal police shooting still remains under investigation.
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The police officer, who also remains unidentified, shouted at the suspect to get down on the ground before firing the seventh round at the young man, the Los Angeles Times reports. Why the Huntington Beach police officer was dispatched to the 7-Eleven store still remains unclear.
Two witnesses told local reporters the suspect either hit or tried to punch the California police officer before he was shot.
A representative of the California police department would only reveal to the media that the law enforcement officer “contacted” the man on the premises and would not explain why he was dispatched to the store. Witnesses to the police shooting told local reporters a robbery might have taken place inside the 7-Eleven store.
The video of the shooting was captured via a bystander and posted to Twitter mere moments after the fatal incident occurred. The video poster told social media viewers the suspect had not attempted to rob the convenience store.
A representative from the Huntington Beach Police Department said the police officer involved in the shooting attempted to subdue the suspect with a taser before using lethal force. The Huntington Beach police officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy said the involved police officer had not been interviewed about the fatal shooting as of Friday evening, KTLA 5 News reports. Handy cited a state law that permits a “calm down” period for officers to allow them time to “adjust” and secure representation before making an official statement after a shooting.
A female 7-Eleven employee sustained a minor injury during the police shooting. A witness told reporters the woman was hit with a round fired from the officer’s gun but Chief Handy said he believes the cashier was hit with a shard of shattered glass.
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