A bare-chested man “yelling and screaming” outside a business on the edge of the Valencia Industrial Center became embroiled in a fight with responding deputies and, in the end, was shot twice in the torso by one of those deputies and killed.
The identity of the deceased man was not released by detectives assigned to the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau, only to say he was a 35-year-old Hispanic man.
One deputy punched in the face during a scuffle with the man was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.
The punched deputy was the one who fired the two lethal shots, said Lt. Brandon Dean of the Homicide Bureau.
The incident began at 12:40 p.m. with a phone call to the Sheriff’s Station from a business owner on Rye Canyon Road, near The Old Road.
“The call was for a suspicious person described as a male Hispanic, with no shirt, yelling and screaming,” Dean said.
“A single deputy responded,” he said. “He made contact, at which time the suspect attacked him.”
“During the fight, the suspect was able to disarm the deputy of his radio and taser. The suspect was swinging the radio, which at one point, broke the windshield of the deputy’s car,” Dean said.
“The deputy was able to get to his car radio and ask for assistance,” he said.
“Within minutes the assisting deputies arrived,” Dean said. “As soon as they got there and made contact with the suspect, the suspect charged at them with a wooden stick and another fight ensued.”
“During the fight, one of the deputies was struck in the face and a deputy-involved shooting occurred. The suspect was struck at least twice in the upper torso,” he said.
“(The suspect) was pronounced dead at the scene. One deputy was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries and was reported to be in stable condition,” Dean said.
Homicide detectives were called to investigate the incident.
Special investigators with both the Internal Affairs Department of the LASD and the Justice Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office were notified as a matter of policy and procedure and were expected to begin reviewing all aspects of the deputy-involved shooting.
Dean said homicide detectives were to begin interviewing witnesses shortly after 5 p.m.
Some witnesses share what they saw before Thursday’s shooting.
About 1 p.m., when the shooting happened, deputies shut down a stretch of Rye Canyon Road from The Old Road to Avenue Stanford, roping an area around the fatal shooting with yellow police tape.
Two sheriff’s vehicles, with their red and blue emergency lights flashing, protected an area around the body of the deceased man.
Within minutes of the shooting, deputies notified homicide detectives as a matter of protocol, referring all official comments to them.
“We are working on a deputy-involved shooting,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, said at the scene when it first happened. Sheriff’s deputies urged local residents to avoid the Rye Canyon and Avenue Stanford area Thursday afternoon while the scene was being investigated.
Although initial reports indicated no deputies were injured, the SCV Sheriff’s Station reported on its official Twitter account at approximately 2:30 p.m. that a deputy was injured. “There was one deputy who did suffer minor injuries and was transported to the hospital.”
That tweet was subsequently deleted, and the injury was later confirmed by homicide detectives.
At 2 p.m., the SCV Sheriff’s Station announced on its official Twitter account that there was no outstanding suspect.
Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department were dispatched to the intersection of Rye Canyon Road at The Old Road at 12:50 p.m. for reports of a person experiencing some sort of psychological problem.
“We received the call as a psych rescue,” said Austin Bennett, spokesman for the Fire Department. The call of a “psych rescue with ALS” was placed by a deputy, Bennett said, referring to advanced life support.
Paramedics got to the scene of the psychological rescue at 12:53 p.m., Bennett said, adding no one was transported from the scene by paramedics.
“I didn’t see anything but I heard something,” said one employee of the Santa Clarita Public Works office at the corner of Stanford and Rye. “I heard shots.”
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