Police shoot and kill man who allegedly fired gun at officer in Central Long Beach

Long Beach police shot and killed a man who they said fired a gun at an officer in a Central Long Beach neighborhood late Sunday.

Officers were working as part of a violent crime task force in the area of East Rhea Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue around 10 p.m. when they attempted to stop a man on a bicycle in the 900 block of East 19th Street, the Long Beach Police Department said in a news release Monday.

The man fled on foot and officers at one point used a Taser device, but he but continued to be uncooperative, police said.

Police said the man then pointed a gun at one of the officers and fired at least one shot. Police then shot the man. The man, whose identify was not released, was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries, according to the department.

The man’s gun was recovered at the scene, police said. No officers were injured.

Police say a man used this gun when he fired at an LBPD officer on Feb. 16, 2020. Photo courtesy Long Beach police.

Police say a man used this gun when he fired at an LBPD officer on Feb. 16, 2020. Photo courtesy Long Beach police.

This is the first officer-involved shooting for the department this year. The number of officer-involved shootings in recent years has declined.

Last year, Long Beach police shot three people, which is a drop compared to the past half-decade when the department averaged seven officer-involved shootings per year. The LBPD shot four people in 2018.

The department will be conducting a review of Sunday’s shooting, as will the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which investigates all officer involved shootings that result in injury or death.

Police urged anyone with information about this incident to contact homicide detectives Oscar Valenzuela and Eric Thai at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visiting lacrimestoppers.org.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].