Police shoot charging, knife-wielding man

Assaults on LAPD officers up dramatically in 2008
LOS ANGELES Detectives have been investigating the scene of the officer-involved shooting for hours. They say they're interviewing witnesses as they continue their investigation.

A man with a camera near the scene shot video of police surrounding the suspect after a police officer shot the suspect. Authorities appear to be searching him while he is handcuffed, lying face down on the ground.

Police say the officer-involved shooting happened Tuesday afternoon about 12:45 p.m. at 6th Street and Stanford Avenue in Downtown L.A. They say it unfolded after two officers on bikes approached a 50-year-old man who was apparently standing in the middle of the street.

"As they spoke to the man he drew a very large knife and started to charge at the officers. The officers ordered the man to step back. He continued to charge at them and one of the officers fired at the man, striking him. He's been taken to a local hospital. Right now I don't have any information as to his status," said LAPD Lieutenant Paul Vernon.

Police wouldn't say exactly why the officers questioned the suspect, or why he had allegedly threatened them with a knife. Police said they did take the knife into evidence.

"Neither of the officers were injured and right now we are conducting an officer-involved-shooting investigation. The bicycles on the ground behind me are the bicycles from the bicycle officers who were there," said Lt. Vernon.

Police say although crime is down in the city, in downtown L.A., for some reason, assaults on police officers have increased dramatically.

"This year, which we are about three quarters of the way through of the year, we have had now 38 assaults on officers compared to last year, where we had a total of 28 assaults on officers. Back in 2006, for the whole year, we had 12 assaults on officers," said Lt. Vernon.

Eyewitness News spoke to police late Tuesday afternoon, and they said the suspect is in the hospital in stable condition. Authorities have yet to release the names of the officers involved in the shootings.

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