(CNN) – Los Angeles County Sheriff's MPs fatally shot and killed a black man during a confrontation on Monday afternoon in south LA and sparked protests at the meeting place.
The Sheriff's Department says that at around 3:15 pm local time, two MPs tried to prevent a black man from riding a bicycle "in violation of vehicle regulations," but as they approached him he got off his bike and ran.
Sheriffs Lt. Brandon Dean told reporters that MPs caught up with the suspect about a block away. As they approached him, the man slapped one of the MPs in the face and dropped items of clothing he had been wearing.
MPs "noted that there was a black semi-automatic pistol in the clothes he dropped," and then both MPs opened fire and shot the man "several times," Dean said. Investigators got a gun from the scene.
The man was later pronounced dead at the scene. Police failed to identify the man, who was only described as being around 30 years old. None of the MPs was injured, said Dean.
The man's death comes amid public protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the death of George Floyd in May in Minneapolis after an officer kneeled on his neck.
Police do not carry body cameras
Dean said MPs had yet to be interviewed and did not wear body cameras. Investigators searched the area for surveillance video or footage of home security and asked witnesses with cell phone video to come forward.
The public prosecutor's office and the inspector general's office support the investigation.
In the aftermath of the shooting, activist group Black Lives Matter L.A. tweeted a call for protesters to rally in the area. The CNN subsidiary KCBS / KCAL estimated that up to 100 demonstrators were on the scene on Monday evening, chanting calls for justice.
"How many times do we have to gather here and mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters," a protester told KCBS / KCAL.
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