Police release video of officer shooting man in East Long Beach last month

A man apparently brandished a BB-gun in hopes of getting Long Beach police officers to shoot and kill him last month, according to newly released video footage of the incident.

Police said the man, 40, was from Palmdale and sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting. The LBPD said that they didn’t release his name because he was apparently trying to kill himself.

In accordance with state law, the Long Beach Police Department released 12 minutes of video footage from a police officers’ body-worn camera, as well as excerpts of a 911 call, related to the shooting.

The incident began at about 8:20 a.m. on Nov. 12 with multiple 911 callers describing a man driving erratically on Los Coyotes Diagonal near Woodruff Avenue.

“It looks like he’s been cutting himself,” one 911 caller says, according to the video. “He seems like he’s drunk or high.”

After pulling the man over, LBPD officers can be seen talking to the man in the video, though in much of the footage, including that of the shooting itself, a police vehicle’s door obscures the view of the man.

According to police, the man held what appeared to be a gun to his head, though after the incident police learned that it was, in fact, a BB-gun.

On the video, officers repeatedly ask the man to put the gun down, but they also tell him that he’s not in trouble. After determining that the man was a veteran, one police officer tells him he was in the Marine Corps and then offers to drive the man to a VA hospital “right now.”

Though it’s unclear from the video, police said that’s when the man pointed the gun he was holding at an officer, who then fired his service weapon.

After the shooting, the man exited the vehicle. While he was on the ground and officers were cuffing him, he can be heard repeatedly thanking them, according to the video.

“Thanks guys, you did good,” the man says. “I couldn’t do it myself.”

One officer then asks the man where he was hit.

“I don’t know,” the man says. “In the head.”

The man again thanks the officers, according to the video. “You did your job, you got me,” he says.

The man was charged with exhibiting a deadly weapon to resist arrest, brandishing a replica gun and unlawful alteration of an imitation firearm, according to the LBPD.

The LBPD said it will conduct a multi-level review of the shooting. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will conduct its own investigation of the incident, as is typically done with police shootings.

Anyone who needs help or knows someone who does can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

UPDATE: Police shoot, wound man after finding him in parked car with BB gun, LBPD says

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Anthony Pignataro is an investigative reporter and editor for the Long Beach Post. He has close to three decades of experience in journalism leading numerous investigations and long-form journalism projects for the OC Weekly and other publications. He joined the Post in May 2021.
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