Photos and video taken just before a deadly deputy-involved shooting in Los Angeles on Saturday show that the suspect was armed with a handgun, and he did not let it go, even after he fell to the ground, LA County Sheriff's Department officials said today.
The Sheriff’s Department played video that they said showed the suspect walking down a busy street in Lynwood, California, waving a .45 caliber gun. Six to seven shots were fired into the air six minutes before the deputy-involved shooting, said officials.
The Sheriff’s Department also displayed photographs that officials said clearly showed the suspect was holding a gun.
The suspect was seen in a nearby pizza store holding a gun and behaving erratically, said officials. He then left the store and walked south, acting oddly and yelling expletives, said officials.
Deputies responded to multiple emergency calls received of a "man with a gun" and "shots heard," according to a statement Saturday from the LASD. When deputies arrived, they located the armed suspect in front of a busy Arco Gas Station.
The suspect, 28-year-old Nicholas Robertson, who officials said had prior contacts with the criminal justice system, did not comply with deputies' commands to drop his weapon, officials said today.
"He did not comply with their repeated requests to drop the weapon," LASD Homicide Unit Capt. Steven Katz said. "The suspect presented a threat to the deputies and to the community and they took the action that they did."
Witnesses in the immediate area said they saw the suspect turn and point the gun at the deputies before the shooting, according to the sheriff's department statement on Saturday. The sheriff's department said today that video also shows the suspect turning towards deputies.
"We do not have any evidence that indicates a round was fired at deputies at this time," Katz said. "We do have evidence that the suspect did fire the weapon multiple times prior to the interaction with the deputies."
Officials said the two responding deputies fired 33 bullets at Robertson.
Robertson continued holding the gun after he was shot and fell, Katz said.
"When he collapsed, his arms were underneath him, and the gun was still in his hand," Katz said. "There was never a time when the weapon was not in his possession."
Robertson was pronounced dead at the scene, and a loaded .45 caliber handgun, was recovered, officials said. The gun was not registered to Robertson, officials said today. The deputy-involved shooting was captured on cell phone video.
Two women and three children were in a car five feet away from Robertson when deputies opened fire, officials said today, calling concern for public safety critical.
Photos, video and 911 calls from the shooting will be released later today, officials said today. The investigation is ongoing, officials said, and anyone with video or information from the incident is asked to come forward.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.