A man wanted on suspicion of murder was shot and killed Wednesday after punching a South Gate police officer in the face and trying to take her gun, authorities said.
The man died at the scene shortly after 7 a.m. in the south Los Angeles suburb. His name wasn’t immediately released.
The man, a known gang member, was being sought by a multiagency gang task force in connection with a March 7 killing and a March 1 attempted murder in the city of Bell, South Gate Police Chief Darren Arakawa said.
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Dozens of officers searched the bed of the Los Angeles River when they spotted him at a homeless encampment, Arakawa said.
The man ran off into a nearby truck yard in Vernon where he was confronted by a South Gate officer but refused to surrender. During a struggle, he punched the officer in the face and tried to grab her gun, Arakawa said.
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The officer shot him twice and despite life-saving measures he died at the scene.
Arakawa said the man had a long criminal record that “defies logic” and he had been released from prison last year. Other details weren’t immediately released.
The California Department of Justice is reviewing the incident under a state law that calls for the agency to investigate deadly police shootings involving unarmed civilians.