1 dead in officer-involved shooting in Studio City

ByCarlos Granda, Jory Rand, and Melissa Leu via KABC logo
Saturday, July 25, 2015
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A suspect was killed following an officer-involved shooting at Ventura and Laurel Canyon boulevards in Studio City on Friday.

STUDIO CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A suspect was killed following an officer-involved shooting at Ventura and Laurel Canyon boulevards in Studio City on Friday.

Los Angeles police were initially called at about 3:20 p.m. about a man with a gun. An officer-involved shooting occurred and the suspect was hit, police said.

August Sargenti, who owns a hat shop in the area, said people started running when the man began firing shots. Police could not confirm if the suspect fired shots, but a handgun was found on the suspect.

"Then people started walking by the guy as if nothing was going on. I don't think people realized he had a gun. He was hiding it between his knees. Women, kids, people with strollers were going by this guy. It was really terrifying," Sargenti said.

When police arrived, the man appeared to disregard commands from police to drop his weapon, Sargenti said.

"He's not listening to anyone. It looked like a standoff. Then that guy started moving his arm and that was it. I heard two more shots," he added.

Witness video showed the man raising his gun and police opening fire. Three shots could be heard.

"He fell over backward and they just stayed guns drawn on him," witness Andy Guss said.

No officers were injured. A bomb squad later responded to the scene.

The suspect's body could be seen slumped over a flower bed in front of a bank near several bags for hours after the shooting. A remote-control robot blew up at least two items found near the body. By 5:45 p.m., all the items had been rendered safe. No explosives were found.

Nearby businesses, including a bank, were later evacuated after many bystanders sheltered in place.

There was no indication of a bank robbery, FBI officials said.

The identity of the officer will not be released until the police chief has had time to review the case, LAPD Det. Meghan Aguilar said.

Ventura Boulevard was closed between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Whitsett Avenue. Southbound lanes on Laurel Canyon Boulevard was shut down south of Moorpark Street. The area was expected to be shut down for at least 10 hours, Aguilar said.