LOS ANGELES — A 34-year-old man was identified Tuesday as the person walking on a highway — and who authorities say was armed with a stun gun — before being shot and killed by a California Highway Patrol officer, officials said.
Jesse Dominguez, a Los Angeles resident, died at a hospital after the confrontation with law enforcement on Sunday, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s report, although the cause of his death has not been officially released. disclosed.
The name of the CHP officer involved in Sunday’s shooting had not been released as of Tuesday afternoon.
The confrontation unfolded shortly after 3 p.m. when a portion of Interstate 105 in Los Angeles County was closed following 911 calls from a man walking on the highway.
A video circulating on social media appeared to show the CHP officer struggling with the man on the sidewalk before shooting him at point-blank range. The man used a stun gun on the officer, who then opened fire, according to the CHP.
A use-of-force expert said the officer could have reasonably considered a stun gun or Taser to be almost as dangerous as any firearm.
A stun could “pose a serious and immediate threat to anyone” and “you don’t want a police officer to be stunned and have their weapon taken away,” said Ed Obayashi, a former California police officer and sheriff’s deputy.
Obayashi is regularly called upon by law enforcement to investigate police-involved shootings.
Obayashi questioned why the officer confronted the man one-on-one when the highway had been cleared and no one appeared to be in immediate danger.
“The problem is if I get some distance between an individual armed with a stun gun and myself, then there is an opportunity for de-escalation, an opportunity to retreat,” Obayashi said Tuesday.
“This side of the 105 has been closed, so there is no danger to anyone. My question would be what caused this officer to approach this individual?” he said. “There are millions of cops here, so I don’t know why this cop was alone and approached of this individual? This is going to be a fundamental question.
Andrew Blankstein reported from Los Angeles and David K. Li from New York.