Man holding water nozzle killed by LB police

LONG BEACH, Calif. Authorities responded to a report of a person with a gun in the 5300 block of East Ocean Boulevard of a Belmont Shore neighborhood about 4:40 p.m.

Officers saw a man believed to be armed with a handgun and took cover, but while waiting for backup officers, an officer-involved shooting occurred.

The suspect was declared dead at the scene after suffering a gunshot wound in the torso area. The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office identified the man as 35-year-old Douglas Zerby.

During a news conference Monday, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said Zerby had pointed a black pistol-grip water hose nozzle at police officers.

Zerby allegedly pointed the object in a two-handed posture from a seated position that looked like what a person would do when they are about to fire a weapon.

Long Beach police said Zerby was drunk at the time. He was sitting on a porch waiting for his friend.

"There were, I believe, two rounds from a shotgun and six rounds from a handgun," said McDonnell about the shots fired by officers.

McDonnell offered his and his department's condolences to the family.

Zerby's family said he had a drug and alcohol problem, but asked why police couldn't do something else than shoot him.

"I know that they're trained, well paid, taught to make snap-minute decisions, but what I don't understand is how can you make a decision to do something and someone is actually sitting there," said Zerby's father, Mark. "

"I want my son back," said Zerby's mother, Pam Amici. "He was a wonderful young man. He loved the ocean and the sun. He was quiet, he was spiritual. He never hurt anyone. We really miss him a lot."

No officers were injured in the incident.

The family contends officers failed to identify themselves to Zerby upon arriving.

The /*Los Angeles District Attorney's Office*/ and /*Long Beach Police Department*/ are investigating the fatal shooting.

It could be months before they're findings are made public.

Zerby is survived by an 8-year-old son.

Dozens of Zerby's friends and family members gathered Monday night for an emotional vigil as they try cope with what they call a senseless tragedy.

Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.

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