Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man early Wednesday morning after he reportedly reached for a handgun inside his vehicle during a South Los Angeles burglary investigation, authorities said.
The Los Angeles Times reports that deputies were responding to a vehicle burglary in the area of 91st Street and Compton Avenue at about 1:15 a.m., and came upon the car with its trunk open.
Deputy Guillermina Saldaña, a department spokeswoman, said in a statement that as the deputies inspected the broken-in vehicle, they spotted another vehicle parked in a nearby alley with its brake lights on.
Saldaña said the deputies believed that the vehicle may have been involved in the burglary, so they approached the vehicle and the driver, and as they did, they smelled marijuana.
The deputies reportedly asked the driver to exit the vehicle, but he refused, and as one of the deputies held the man’s arm to escort him out of the vehicle, he pulled away, the Times reports.
According to Saldaña, the man then reached for a handgun and pointed it at the deputies, who then fired at the man, striking him in the torso.
The deputies were not injured in the incident, but the unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
Saldaña said that police don’t know if the man was actually involved in the burglary.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Joe Mendoza told KTLA that investigators recovered a semi-automatic handgun from the scene.
There appear to be quite a few holes in this story, and neither KTLA nor the Times seems to be able to fill in those gaps.
In fact, while the account in the Times says the man refused to exit his vehicle, according to the KTLA story:
“The driver exited the vehicle then he broke free from the deputy’s grasp. He went into the vehicle, retrieved a handgun and a deputy involved shooting occurred,” Mendoza said.
So, what is the truth?
I suppose we will find out as the sheriff’s department applies more spin to the tale, but it’s already not adding up.