Crime & Justice

Lynwood suspect fatally shot by deputies held gun entire time, officials say

Photo from witness video provided to KTLA, which appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies fatally shooting man in Lynwood on Dec. 12, 2015.
Photo from witness video provided to KTLA, which appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies fatally shooting man in Lynwood on Dec. 12, 2015.
KTLA via Twitter
Photo from witness video provided to KTLA, which appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies fatally shooting man in Lynwood on Dec. 12, 2015.
Video of the Lynwood deputy-involved shooting showed that suspect Nicholas Robertson had a gun the entire time, LASD authorities said.
LASD
Photo from witness video provided to KTLA, which appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies fatally shooting man in Lynwood on Dec. 12, 2015.
Video of the Lynwood deputy-involved shooting showed that suspect Nicholas Robertson had a gun the entire time, LASD authorities said.
LASD
Photo from witness video provided to KTLA, which appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies fatally shooting man in Lynwood on Dec. 12, 2015.
Suspect, Nicholas Robertson, who was fatally shot by LASD deputies was armed during the whole encounter, LASD authorities said at a news conference where they showed video and still photos.
LASD
Photo from witness video provided to KTLA, which appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies fatally shooting man in Lynwood on Dec. 12, 2015.
LASD Captain Steve Katz said at a news conference Sunday that the investigation is still in the beginning stages.
screengrab from FOX 11 livestream


The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department is investigating a fatal shooting that took place in Lynwood Saturday when deputies responded to calls of a man walking in the area near Long Beach Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue with a gun, at times shooting in the air. The encounter ended with deputies fatally shooting Nicholas Robertson, 28. 

Sunday 6:03 p.m. LASD releases new video, 911 calls reporting man with gun

LA County Sheriff’s Department released surveillance video and audio Sunday afternoon of the six 911 calls that the Culver Station received Saturday, shortly before deputies arrived and fatally shot 28-year-old Nicholas Robertson in Lynwood.

LASD officials said in a news conference Sunday that Robertson held a gun throughout the entire encounter with law enforcement and ignored several commands to drop the weapon.

Below is an excerpt of the surveillance video, edited for length to show when the shooting began. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSB86yKxITw&feature=youtu.be

The 911 callers reported a man fitting Robertson’s description holding a gun and walking down various streets in the area near the Arco station at Magnolia Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard.

A caller at 10:50 a.m. said she saw a man holding a gun and pointing it at people near Santa Fe and Carlin Avenues. 

Another woman called at 10:51 a.m. and told a dispatcher she saw a man walking down the street and shooting a gun “straight in the air” in front of her house on Palm Avenue before walking toward Alpine Avenue.

A third caller reported a man fitting Robertson’s description walking on Palm and Alpine Avenues with a gun that he “at least 6-7 times shot in the air.”

Authorities are still investigating the shooting and gathering evidence.

--KPCC's Jessica Hamlin

Sunday 12:49 p.m. Suspect held gun during entire encounter, authorities say

The suspect in Saturday’s fatal deputy-involved shooting in Lynwood possessed a gun throughout the entire encounter despite orders to drop his weapon, officials said at a live streamed news conference Sunday where they showed business surveillance video and still photos of the suspect holding what appeared to be a handgun.

Suspect Nicholas Robertson, 28, was shot by deputies Saturday after police received six 911 calls from businesses and residents that a man was walking around the area of Long Beach Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue with a gun, in two cases entering a business.

The first 911 call came in at 10:53 a.m. and the shooting occurred at 10:59 a.m., said authorities.

Some callers reported that Robertson fired six to seven rounds while in a residential area about a block from where the deputy shooting took place and authorities “recovered evidence in that location that’s consistent with that,” said Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau Captain Steve Katz.

The two deputies involved in the shooting fired 16 shots and 17 shots, respectively. One of the deputies has been with the department for about a year and the other about 18 months. They have been reassigned from field duty while investigators review the facts of the incident, authorities said.

Investigators do not have evidence that Robertson shot at deputies but video of the incident shows he had a gun in his hand and was looking in the direction of the deputies, said Katz. 

The .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun authorities recovered after the shooting did not have ammunition in it but two live rounds were within Robertson’s grasp. The gun was not registered to Robertson.

Deputies had “grave concern for the number of victims” at the ARCO station where the shooting occurred, said Katz, adding that a car full of people was about five feet away from Robertson. “He posed a threat to deputies and the community and they took the action they did.”

The investigation is still in the beginning stages and several agencies still need to weigh in, said LASD Sheriff Jim McDonnell.

“There may have been some domestic discord between him and a spouse that may have been a factor that agitated him to some degree but we have no confirmation on that,” said Katz. 

--KPCC's Jessica Hamlin

Earlier: 

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detectives are investigating a deputy's fatal shooting of a man in Lynwood late Saturday morning that appears to have been recorded on video by a witness.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office has identified the man shot by sheriff's deputies as Nicholas Robertson, 28, of Lynwood, AP reported Sunday. 

The video was provided to KTLA, which posted it on its website.

The shooting occurred at about 11 a.m. near Long Beach Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue in Lynwood, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, a sheriff's department statement said.

The deputies were responding to reports of a man walking in the city and firing a gun into the air, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez said in a statement, according to Associated Press.

When the deputies encountered the man in front of a gas station, they ordered him to drop the gun but he did not comply, AP reported.

"Witnesses in the immediate area said they saw the suspect turn and point the gun at the deputies prior to the shooting," the statement said.

No further details were released by the sheriff's department.

KTLA reports that more than 30 shots can be heard in the video, which they said was obtained from a witness who asked to remain anonymous:

In it, a person holding a gun, believed to be a sheriff's deputy, follows a man who appears to be walking away from the official and next to an Arco gas station.

At least a dozen gunshots can then be heard being fired, and the man falls to the ground.

Once on the ground, the camera panned to focus solely on the man, who crawls next to the gas station and away from the gunfire.

After a pause in audible gunfire, at least a dozen additional shots are heard.

The suspect's weapon, a loaded .45 caliber handgun, was recovered from the scene, AP reported. 

"The video is just one piece of evidence that's going to be examined as part of a comprehensive, protracted, long investigation and that'll be analyzed against the physical evidence, the witness statements and the deputies' statements," Lt. Eddie Hernandez told KABC-TV.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell planned to discuss the shooting at a news conference on Sunday, AP reported.

When an officer-involved shooting results in the wounding of a suspect, separate investigations begin at the scene by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, the sheriff's Homicide Bureau and Internal Affairs Bureau, with the Office of the Inspector General also present, the sheriff's department statement said.

Once concluded, the findings from the investigations are reviewed by the Sheriff's Executive Force Review Committee.

Anyone with information about this incident can contact the Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or anonymously at Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

This story has been updated.