Cops Shoot Homeless Man Who Brandished Knife And Bottle At Them, Video Shows

(Public/Screenshots/YouTube/Los Angeles Police Department)

John Oyewale Contributor
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The Los Angeles police fatally shot a homeless man who brandished a knife and a bottle at them despite warnings from officers, a newly released video showed.

The suspect, 35-year-old Benjamin Pritchard, had allegedly assaulted a man with a machete at a McDonald’s in the San Fernando Valley, per audio of the 911 call the victim placed at around 7:45 p.m. on Nov. 1. The victim appeared to have wrested the machete from Pritchard and then fled with minor injuries as the suspect drew a knife, per the video.

“We need to get in control of all these homeless people,” the victim can be heard telling the dispatcher.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers responding to the scene found Pritchard in the restaurant’s parking lot. Pritchard fled, the officers gave chase, with the suspect at one point charging toward the officers’ patrol car while holding a knife aloft and making a stabbing motion before breaking off, the video showed. (RELATED: Video Shows Robbery Suspect Charging At Cop With Two Knives Raised Before Being Shot)

Pritchard was later seen armed with a bottle and repeatedly failed to heed officers’ demands that he drop the weapons as he ran towards a busy nearby restaurant, per the video. The officer tasered him twice, causing Pritchard to fall with a groan and break his bottle, but he held onto the knife and resumed fleeing despite repeated calls for him to drop the knife.

“If he goes into that restaurant, shoot,” an officer can be heard saying in the video.

“Drop the knife!” the officers repeatedly called, as Pritchard wheeled around near a doorway into the restaurant and faced the officers.

“I’m just trying to walk away,” he said, running backward into the restaurant, still armed. The officers then fired multiple rounds, and he sank to the floor moaning, the video showed. “Don’t fucking move!” an officer yells at Pritchard as he lies motionless.

Pritchard was arrested, treated at the scene and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The officers recovered Pritchard’s 18-inch machete and 4.75-inch knife as evidence.

Investigations are ongoing, LAPD Captain Kelly Muñiz said.