A 22-year-old Long Beach man armed with a shotgun was killed by police in Long Beach and an investigation was underway this morning to try to determine if the man was fatally wounded by an officer’s bullet or if he died from injuries he sustained when a police vehicle struck him.
Police responded to a call that the suspect had opened fire in front of a restaurant in the area of Atlantic Avenue and Market Street about 9:20 p.m. Thursday and wounded a man, according to the Long Beach Police Department. Multiple media reports said the gunman had been in some kind of dispute at the restaurant and also wounded a woman.
The suspect remained in the area, according to police. The first officer who arrived encountered the armed suspect and fired at him, the department said.
As a second officer in a marked police vehicle arrived on scene, the suspect fired at the police vehicle, striking it twice and prompting the officer to intentionally ram the suspect with the police vehicle “stopping the suspect from continuing to fire,” the LBPD said.
A witness who was at a nearby church said he heard two sets of gunfire. The first set started with just a few shots followed by a flurry of gunfire five minutes later, he said.
“The suspect is deceased and he is on scene,” Long Beach police Chief Robert Luna told reporters Thursday night. “There was an officer-involved shooting, so we don’t know if he’s deceased from the gunfire or possibly when he was struck by the officer he was shooting at.”
A shotgun was recovered at the scene, police said..
Long Beach fire paramedics took two victims to a hospital, one in critical condition. ABC7 reported the second victim was taken to a hospital with stable vital signs. An officer was taken to a hospital as a precaution, police said.
A motive for the shooting was unknown.
The names of the shooter and victims were not disclosed.
This is the second officer-involved shooting this year in Long Beach, just days after police shot and killed a man who they said fired a gun at an officer in a Central Long Beach neighborhood.
Anyone who witnessed the shootings was asked to call LBPD HomicideDetectives Michael Hubbard or Leticia Gamboa at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
Editor’s note: We are updating this story with more information from officials.
Steven Smith contributed to this report.