The identity of a hatchet-wielding man who was shot and killed by El Segundo police Wednesday will not be released until his next of kin have been notified, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said Thursday.
The shooting, which occurred in Westchester after a short vehicle pursuit, is now being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department — a common practice in fatal shootings involving local police agencies.
The chaotic series of events began about 12:25 p.m. when several witnesses called 911 to report that a suspect was threatening people with a hatchet in the area of Imperial Avenue and McCarthy Court in El Segundo, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.
The man fled in a white SUV before El Segundo police arrived.
Officers searched the area and found the man carrying a hatchet and walking near Maple Avenue and Washington Street, she said in a statement. When the man spotted the officers, he got into his SUV and drove away.
Police chased the man for about three miles into Westchester, where officers performed a “pursuit intervention technique” — or PIT maneuver — to disable the SUV on Manchester Avenue, just east of Kentwood Avenue.
Video obtained by KABC-TV showed several police cruisers surrounding a white SUV. At least one officer was shown pointing a weapon at the suspect, who climbed out of the driver’s side window. Several shots were heard in the video.
According to the sheriff’s department, the man was still armed with the hatchet when he jumped onto the hood of a police cruiser. The man allegedly threatened an officer inside the cruiser.
That’s when police fired at the man, Navarro-Suarez said.
He was struck at least once in the torso and pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. No officers were injured.
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