LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new video surfaced Saturday that appears to show a man throwing punches at a California police officer during a scuffle before the man was fatally shot outside of a convenience store.
The video, posted on Facebook and YouTube, shows the man in a physical confrontation with a Huntington Beach police officer outside of a 7-Eleven Friday morning in the beach city.
The video, which appears to be taken from inside a car in the parking lot, starts with the officer pointing a stun gun at the man and ordering him to sit down. The man seems unaffected when the officer fires the stun gun and quickly rushes toward the officer.
The man can be seen repeatedly punching the officer before the officer appears to get the man in a headlock and they wrestle to the ground. Once they are on the ground, the officer can be heard shouting, “let go of my gun!” though he appears to retain full control of the weapon during the entire encounter.
A second video, which was posted on Twitter on Friday, showed the man grabbing an object from the officer’s belt as they struggled next to a parked car. The officer then pulls out his gun and backs away. Another video clip shows the man jumping to his feet and he’s almost immediately shot. Six rounds are fired before the officer calls out, “get on the ground.” After a short pause, a final, seventh gunshot is fired and the man stumbles backward and collapses against a wall.
Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy said the officer had been forced to defend himself and had the right to fatally shoot the man if he felt his life was in danger.
“This is clearly an assault on an officer,” Handy told reporters Friday. “I don’t know what preceded that assault, we don’t know that yet, but clearly this person attacked our police officer, and I don’t think that there’s any way an officer is expected to not defend them self and that includes a lethal force at times.”
Police said they are still investigating and released few details of what led to the confrontation. None of the videos appear to show the suspect holding a gun. The name of the man, who was pronounced dead after Friday’s shooting, was not immediately released.
On Saturday, a police officer in La Verne, about 43 miles (69 kilometers) away from Huntington Beach, shot and wounded a man who refused to drop what the officer thought could be a weapon and then also wounded a second officer who came to help.