Police shoot, wound man holding paintball gun, LBPD says

A man was rushed to the hospital but is expected to survive after a Long Beach police officer shot him in West Long Beach overnight. Police said the man was holding a paintball gun that officers believed was a real firearm.

Police said the situation began around 12:15 a.m. Sunday when officers responded to a call about gunshots being heard in the 1900 block of Harbor Avenue, which is a couple of blocks northwest of where Pacific Coast Highway crosses the 710 Freeway.

When the first officer arrived, the man “pointed a weapon in the direction of the officer, that appeared to be a firearm,” the Long Beach Police Department said in a news release.

“An officer drew his duty weapon and fired at the suspect, wounding him,” the news release said.

Officers started giving the man first aid, and Long Beach Fire Department paramedics soon took the man to a local hospital, police said.

Police quickly determined that the weapon the man had was actually “a CO2-powered paintball pistol,” according to the LBPD.

Police said the wounded man is a 28-year-old resident of Long Beach who “later told officers he was suicidal.”

Investigators are now reviewing body-camera footage of the incident.

The Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will both investigate the officer’s decision to fire, as is typical in local police shootings.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram.