A witness is contradicting police claims in a Thursday LAPD shooting that left a man critically wounded on South Sycamore Avenue near 9th Street in Los Angeles.
Police say the unidentified officer shot the man during a “violent, physical altercation” in which he grabbed another officer’s Taser and used it on that officers leg.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the two officers went to the area about 8:40 a.m. after they received multiple reports of a man using a skateboard to break windows near Wilshire Boulevard.
When the officers arrived, they began following a man matching the description riding a skateboard down Sycamore.
After the man abandoned his skateboard, the officers got out of their car and tried to detain him but he did not cooperate with their commands, police say.
After the one of the officers used a taser on the man, it had no effect, police say, and the officers continued to wrestle with him before he grabbed the taser and used it on the officer’s leg.
The officer’s partner then opened fire, striking the man in the upper body. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is still in critical condition.
Witness Patrick Comiskey however, who was walking his poodle at the time, said he saw two officers trying to put the man’s hands behind his back to arrest him before one officer pulled out his gun and shot him at point-blank range.
Comiskey described the scene as a “moment of madness and panic,” but said he saw no indications that the man used a taser on the officer.
“I was fully expecting the officer to put handcuffs on the guy and instead he shot him,” Comiskey said. “The guy was on his stomach, set up against some steps on the corner building. They were trying to put his hands behind his back, that’s what it looked like to me.”
The incident marks the sixth officer involved shooting in a week in Los Angeles County and the second by LAPD officers. Officials have made no comment on Comiskey’s account.