A fatal shooting on a Los Angeles freeway involving a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer is under investigation, according to state authorities. The incident occurred during a struggle with a male pedestrian on Interstate 105 in south Los Angeles county. The CHP had responded to multiple calls reporting a pedestrian in the westbound lanes, leading to a temporary blockage of traffic.
According to the CHP, an officer attempted to persuade the man to leave the freeway, but a struggle ensued. During the altercation, the pedestrian gained access to a Taser and used it against the officer. In response to this perceived threat, the officer discharged his service weapon. The pedestrian was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
A video captured by a bystander shows the officer and the pedestrian grappling on the closed freeway. A shot is fired during the struggle, prompting the officer to stand up, and he subsequently fires at least four shots at the prone man. The investigation is being handled by the California Department of Justice, which typically investigates fatal police shootings.
Ed Obayashi, a use-of-force expert, cautioned against making conclusions based solely on the video. The investigation will examine factors such as why the officer approached the pedestrian without backup and whether the pedestrian was armed. Highway patrol officers are not required to wear body cameras, but the agency utilizes in-car cameras.
Local officials, including State Senator Steven Bradford and Assemblymember Mike A Gipson, have called for transparency in the investigation. The incident has sparked concerns, with community leaders urging a thorough and transparent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the use of deadly force on the freeway.