The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was called Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, after a man had shot several rounds into the air. Two Los Angeles County deputies fired 33 shots at the man, who has been identified as Nicholas Robertson when he did not drop his weapon as directed. At a news conference, it was revealed by Captain Steven Katz that throughout the day, Robertson had been carrying the handgun through the streets of Lynwood.
A video, taken with a cell phone of the shooting, reveals Robertson crawling on the ground trying to get away from the deputies while he was under fire. According to Katz, however, there is an additional video that shows the gunman waving his gun in the direction of the deputies. He refused to drop his weapon “as he was being shot,” stated Katz.
Katz stated that when Robertson fell to the ground, after being killed, his arms were underneath him, and the gun still in hand. The weapon was always in his possession. The handgun was not loaded, but Robertson was holding rounds when he was shot. There is also not any evidence that he fired at the deputies or anyone else, at this time.
In response to the number of shots, 33, fired at the man, Katz reported this was “not necessarily unusual.” The deputies were concerned for the many people in the neighborhood where Robertson had been firing his shots. One of the deputies had been on the force for 12 months, the other, 18 months.
A video was shown at the news conference of Robertson walking passed a gas station parking lot in a seemingly agitated state with the handgun. Witnesses reported Robertson was acting in an erratic fashion. Six separate calls were made to police from businesses and residents within the neighborhoods he was wandering through while he was erratically shooting into the air.
One caller reported to police the man had fired six or seven rounds in the air of their neighborhood. Bullets from the same .45 caliber handgun were found in that area after Robertson was killed.
There is a current and ongoing investigation. The two deputies that shot Robertson have been removed from field duty for the investigation. Robertson died at the scene.
Los Angeles County Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, has asked that people keep in mind that even in today’s world of cell phone videos, and the Internet’s “instant analysis” offered by social media, a thorough investigation must be done in proper detail and can be time intensive. He admitted there will always be criticism when the police or deputies are involved in a shooting, but said the department would be as transparent as possible.
In the meantime, Nicholas Robertson is dead and there was not any mention as to how many of those 33 shots from the deputies actually hit him. Nor was it stated where any of his bullet wounds were. The reports only said Robertson died at the scene.
By Jeanette Smith
NBC: Man Fatally Shot by L.A. Deputies Was Acting “Erratically,” Shot 33 Times
Image Courtesy of Derek Bridges’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License