42-year-old man with gun on Long Beach rooftop killed in police shooting
A 42-year-old man holding a gun and pacing on the roof of a two-story apartment building in Long Beach was killed when police fired their guns and a rifle at him on Saturday, July 9.
Multiple attempts had been made to de-escalate the situation, including using nonlethal foam projectiles, Long Beach police said in a news release Saturday night.
On Sunday, the man was identified as 42-year-old Jaime Rodriguez by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. No city of residence was given.
Police were called to the 1100 block of East 17th Street about 11:10 a.m. after receiving reports of a dispute involving a person with a gun in a vehicle, spokeswoman Officer Paige White said.
Officers found the man on top of the roof with what they believed to be a firearm in his hand, White said.
After 20 minutes, the man pointed the gun at officers and officers fired their handguns and an AR-15 rifle, the release said.
An investigation found the man allegedly kidnapped, assaulted, and attempted to carjack a person prior to officers arriving on scene. The person was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries to the upper body, police said.
No officers or additional members of the public were injured.
Neighbors shot video showing Rodriguez pacing back and forth on the rooftop at one point.
Sam Moore, who lives on 16th street, said police told his family to go inside their home around 11 a.m. because a man armed with a handgun was on the roof of a house a block over.
Moore, along with several other residents around the area, watched as the man shouted for help from the rooftop.
“He was clearly going through a health crisis,” Moore said.
He said he saw rubber bullets strike the man as he paced back and forth.
Eventually, the man pointed his firearm toward a group of officers below, who subsequently shot him “at least five to six times,” Moore said.
Officers eventually hoisted a police K-9 onto the roof, but Moore and other residents said the man appeared to be dead. Long Beach Fire Department personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene, police said.
“He did not need to be killed,” Moore said. “Get one of those crisis teams, or hit him with a tranquilizer, but he didn’t need to be shot to death.”
Police released photos of Rodriguez appearing to point a handgun and of a handgun recovered at the scene.
It wasn’t clear at the time if the man lived in the building; nor was it known if police had any prior reports on the man. Information on the man’s identity was not immediately available.
Tanya Silva, 38, who lives off 15th Street, did not witness the shooting but said it was out of the ordinary for her neighborhood near Long Beach Polytechnic High School.
“It’s usually calm here, sometimes loud with the school right there. We have police out sometimes but I’ve never seen something like this,” Silva said.
“I feel bad for the man,” she added. “It sounds like he was going through something.”
The Police Department investigation will continue. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will investigate the incident, as is protocol for officer-involved shootings resulting in injury or death. Police also will make body-worn camera footage available, the department said.