Officer Shoots Knife-Wielding Man In Venice [Updated]
An LAPD officer fired a gun today near Groundwork Coffee in Venice after authorities received a call about a man with a knife.
LAPD Officer Sara Faden tells LAist that the shooting occurred around 2 p.m. on the 600 block of Rose Avenue. Officers arrived on the scene after they received a call about "a man causing a disturbance who had a knife," Faden says. She says there isn't any info available on whether the man was struck by police gunfire or what his condition is.
Witness Anthony Batt was at Groundwork Coffee grabbing a drink when the shooting took place. He tells LAist that he was walking northbound on Rose Avenue when he heard some people calling police about someone in the parking lot. Batt later heard from others that Groundwork employees phoned police, telling them that the man was acting aggressively with a knife.
Batt walked into the coffee shop and saw from the window an officer pull out a gun and another officer pull out a Taser. He says he turned to his friend Neville to tell him that they should get a bulletproof vest. That's when he heard two shots fire off.
"Literally when the police arrived to the shooting, [it was] 1 min and 30 secs—under two minutes—before the gun was shot," Batt says.
Batt didn't see the actual shooting, but came out of Groundwork Coffee and took out his phone to take photos and videos of the arrest taking place immediately after in a parking lot adjacent to the coffee shop. He couldn't see if the man was hurt, but says it did appear that the man had blood on his lower abdomen and neck. In the video Batt shot, which can be seen below, a bystander asks if the man needs medical help as the police turn the man over and handcuff him. Batt says it appears that there is a box cutter knife near the man in the video as well:
"The man wasn’t making any noises in pain or anything, [but] a couple of moans or groans," Batt says.
He adds that there were about 15 police officers on scene, though he didn't see paramedics or firefighters arrive for at least 7 to 10 minutes after the shooting.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott told the L.A. Times that a person was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries.
"It was extraordinarily freakish," Batt says. "We just went in to grab a cup of coffee—and it was so scary because we then saw a police officer with a gun."
Update 4:40 p.m.: LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera tells LAist that officers asked the man to drop his knife, but he didn't comply, and an officer then shot him. She says no officers were injured during the incident.
A Groundwork Coffee employee and witness of the shooting told City News Service that the man, who is believed to be mentally ill, started vomiting after he drank a black liquid that appeared to be made of cigarette butts and water. A store manager went to talk to him, and that's when the man pulled out a knife, the witness said.
When officers arrived, one used a Taser on the man, but it didn't seem to have any affect on the man who began walking towards them. That's when the officer fired two or three shots at the man, according to the witness.