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"Erratic" Young Man Fatally Shot by Deputies, Witness Disputes Need for Use of Force

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A young man behaving erratically while standing in the middle of Paramount Boulevard was fatally shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies early this morning. Deputies reportedly confronted the man, said to be in his early 20s, while he stood shirtless in the street. "The suspect's behavior was erratic," noted Sheriff's Lt. John Corina, who further described the incident to ABC7, as reported by City News Service:

"[The man] was waving his hands in the air, talking to himself, walking in circles, sitting down and standing. They formulated a plan to go contact the individual thinking he was under the influence of some kind of narcotics."

However, when the deputies approached the man, he engaged the authorities in a struggle, including attempting to wrest a deputy's handgun from his grasp. The deputy fired at the man, shooting him twice.

"The suspect was struck in the upper torso and was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead," reports the LASD.

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A witness disputes the LASD's account of the incident. "Ruben Estrada, said he thought the use of deadly force was excessive," reports ABC7, who spoke with Estrada, who told them: "They could've bean-bagged him, they could've Tasered him, but no, they went and shot him."

Lt. Corina says using a Taser was the deputies' plan, but that plan was abandoned when the suspect went for the deputy's weapon.

The LASD say "multiple investigations" of the incident were launched at the scene, as is procedure for an officer-involved shooting within the LASD.

The deputy who shot the man was not injured.