Warning: This story contains graphic video of a fatal shooting
A man was fatally shot by a police officer Friday after a struggle outside of a California convenience store that was captured on a bystander's video.
The Huntington Beach police officer was speaking with the man outside of a 7-Eleven around 9:30 a.m. when a confrontation broke out and the officer opened fire, Officer Angela Bennett, a police spokeswoman said.
Two short video clips posted on social media sites for the OC Hawk news service appeared to show the encounter.
One clip shows an officer struggling to subdue a man in a parking lot. While on the ground, the man grabs something from the officer's belt and the officer pulls out his gun and backs away.
In a second clip, the man jumps to his feet and almost immediately is shot. Eight rounds can be heard as the man stumbles backward and then collapses against a wall.
The officer can then be heard speaking into his radio, saying, "the suspect is down."
Bennett said the department is aware of video that captured the shooting and would review all evidence in the case. "We're still in the very early stages of this investigation," she said Friday afternoon.
Huntington Beach Chief of Police Robert Handy defended the officer. "Clearly this person attacked our police officer. And I don't think there's any way an officer is expected to not defend himself — and that includes lethal force at times," he told our media partner NBC4.
On Saturday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the shooting, issued a statement that read, in part:
As the officer began to talk to the subject, a verbal confrontation began, and the subject refused to listen to any commands given by the officer. As the incident escalated and became physically violent, the officer attempted several force options including his taser, which were all ineffective. The suspect violently attacked and assaulted the officer, and a struggle over the officer’s gun belt ensued. The officer tried to retain his weapon while the suspect continued to grab at the officer’s belt. The suspect removed an undetermined piece of equipment from the gun belt, and the officer fired his weapon at the suspect. The suspect was struck by gunfire and was transported to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries.
The man who was shot has not been publicly identified.
The shooting occurred in the vicinity of Marina High School, which was put on lockdown as a precaution.