LAPD Chief Says Man Killed By Police On Saturday Had A Loaded Gun
At a news conference Monday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that both of the men killed by police officers over the weekend had guns—one loaded, and one a replica. On Saturday, Carnell Snell, 18, was fatally shot by LAPD officers following a vehicle pursuit and on Sunday an unidentified Hispanic male was shot dead by officers in South L.A. responding to a call about a man with a gun. Beck said that officers "feared for their lives" before opening fire in both cases, according to a tweet from ABC 7.
Addressing Saturday's shooting, Beck said that officers saw Snell jump out of the car while holding his waistband like he was supporting something. Beck said that after a short chase, Snell turned toward the officers with a handgun in his left hand, according to ABC News. Officers fired six rounds and Snell was hit twice. He died at the scene. Snell's gun was loaded with one round in the chamber, but it was not fired.
The officers involved in the Snell shooting were not wearing body cameras, but according to Beck, surveillance video from a nearby business captured the incident and showed Snell was armed. Beck also said that the names of the officers involved in the shootings would be released later on in the investigation, according to a tweet from ABC 7.
Snell was the third black man in five days to die in confrontations with police in Southern California, according to ABC News. His death sparked protests Saturday and Sunday in South L.A. Protesters also gathered outside of Mayor Eric Garcetti's home in Hancock Park Saturday night, and eggs were thrown at the home during the night.
Beck also addressed the shooting on Sunday, saying that the man—who has only been identified as a Hispanic male between the ages of 18 and 22—turned and pointed a handgun at the officers before he was shot, according to KTLA. The gun the man was holding was later determined to be a replica, with its orange tip colored black. KTLA reports that a woman who witnessed the scene said that the officers failed to give the man any commands before they shot at him. At the press conference, Beck said he had reviewed video from the officers' body cameras, and that the footage supported their statements.
While Beck was speaking Monday morning, protesters gathered inside the lobby of police headquarters. City News Service reports that the gathering was declaring to be an unlawful assembly after about a half an hour, and that three people were arrested while others moved to protest on the sidewalk.