Police say two men punched and kicked him as they tried to disarm and detain him.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The man who climbed a fence at a Long Beach elementary school carrying a sledgehammer and later died was punched and kicked as two men tried to detain and disarm him, according to police.
The man was identified as 49-year-old John Thompson and his death is now being investigated as a homicide.
The incident happened Tuesday afternoon at McKinley Elementary School. Witnesses told officers Thompson climbed one fence to enter the school parking lot while carrying the hammer. He then attempted to climb a second fence to get onto the main campus when detectives say a man pulled Thompson down.
Two men then punched and kicked him in an attempt to disarm him, police said.
Thompson became unresponsive and later died. Police say they interviewed the two men, but did not arrest them pending further investigation.
Another incident was reported at the same school last week, when a man was arrested after allegedly pointing a gun at a student. It's not clear if the two incidents are related.