HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Police officers shot dead a gunman in the sand in front of dozens of terrified witnesses, many of whom had gathered in Huntington Beach for the US Open of Surfing.
Officers responding to reports of a man carrying a gun contacted him on Saturday afternoon and when he refused to comply with many orders, they opened fire, said city police spokesperson Jennifer Carey in a statement.
The man was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. He has not been identified.
A gun was found at the scene, she said.
Witnesses said several shots rang out south of the pier, near the bike and pedestrian path, after the surf competition ended for the day. Witness video showed the man rolling across the sand, appearing to hit an object before police fired several shots, hitting him, as people screamed and shouted.
“We started hearing pop, pop, pop,” Hector Tovar told the Orange County Register. “I thought it was fireworks, that’s how many laps there were.”
The officers’ body cameras were activated during the shooting and the footage will be reviewed by Orange County Sheriff investigators, who will work with Huntington Beach Police to probe the shooting, officials said.