Witnesses share what they saw before Thursday’s shooting


Video by Bobby Block/The Signal

It was a regular day at work for employees at Jimmy Dean’s in Valencia on Thursday until several customers and employees noticed a suspicious man near the restaurant who was removing his clothes. 

The man had spent a significant amount of time exercising just outside the food joint, located on the corner of The Old Road and Rye Canyon Road late Thursday morning, according to employee Erik Sanchez. 

Workers didn’t think anything of it until the man took his shirt off and began yelling. That’s when they notified authorities. 

“Everything was fine earlier, but then we saw a lot of sirens pass by and traffic,” said employee Julia Ramirez.

By the early afternoon hours, employees and customers began to notice traffic build up on The Old Road, just outside the restaurant’s windows, as California Highway Patrol officers directed vehicles and closed off at least one southbound lane of the road. 

Adjacent to the restaurant was caution tape blocking off through traffic on Rye Canyon Road. 

“Stuff like this doesn’t usually happen around here. A lot of people were asking what happened,” said Ramirez.

The caution tape divided employees and customers from the nearby area of a deadly scene, where one man was shot and killed by a Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputy, after the suspect allegedly attacked at least three deputies on the 25200 block of Rye Canyon Road, according to Lt. Brandon Dean with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau. 

Dean said SCV deputies received a call of a suspicious person in the area. “The call indicated that there was a male Hispanic adult at the location not wearing a shirt, screaming and yelling,” he said. 

With sirens, tape and cones surrounding the scene all throughout Thursday, business continued as usual for nearby establishments and routines continued after brief pauses for passersby like Michael Dawson. 

“It’s just scary to see these kinds of situations in your neighborhood,” said Dawson, who was among the many drivers stuck in traffic on The Old Road.

The suspect was not identified as of Thursday evening. What the suspect yelled remained unknown as the investigation continued well into the evening, Dean added.

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