Video shows LA police fatally shoot suspect in the back.

Video Shows LA Police Fatally Shoot Suspect in the Back as He Is Crawling Away

Video Shows LA Police Fatally Shoot Suspect in the Back as He Is Crawling Away

The Slatest
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Dec. 13 2015 11:15 AM

Video Shows LA Police Fatally Shoot Suspect in the Back as He Is Crawling Away

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A screengrab from the video that shows two Los Angeles county sheriff’s deputies shoot and kill a suspect in Lynwood on Dec. 12, 2015.

A shocking video has emerged that shows two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies shoot and kill an armed suspect in Lynwood on Saturday as he is walking away. Perhaps most shocking of all is how the two police officers keep firing their guns even as the suspect was knocked to the ground and appears to be crawling away. The man, who died at the scene, was identified as 28-year-old Nicholas Robertson, a father of three, according to KTLA.

The deputies arrived at the scene after multiple reports that a man was firing shots into the air. The officers came upon Robertson at a gas station next to a busy road and allegedly called on him to drop the weapon he had in his hand. When he failed to do so, the officers opened fire. Police say the suspect pointed his weapon at the officers, although the video does not appear to show that sequence of events. "We have witnesses that say that the suspect turned, pointed the gun at the deputies, and a deputy-involved shooting occurred," the officer said.

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The witness who captured video of the incident told KABC that the suspect was shooting into the air and refused to comply with repeated commands from the authorities.

Authorities urged caution in jumping to conclusions. “In this modern age of cellphone video and instant analysis on the Internet, I would ask that we keep in mind that a thorough and comprehensive investigation is detailed and time-intensive,” Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement. “It will involve not just one source of information, but numerous sources, potentially including multiple videos, physical evidence and eyewitness accounts.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.