08/15/2007

Man with machete fatally shot by CHP officers

By Tiffany Hsu
The Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES California Highway Patrol officers fatally shot a man armed with a machete on the connector ramp from the eastbound Interstate 10 to the northbound Interstate 5 during Tuesday's evening rush hour.

Officials closed the ramp to investigate, causing a dual SigAlert and a massive traffic backup on the eastbound 10 that was expected to last well into the night.

CHP Sgt. Mark Garrett said two officers encountered the unidentified man shortly after 4:30 p.m. at a homeless encampment beneath the intersection of the freeways, and he threatened them with a long-bladed weapon resembling a machete. The officers called for help and then two more CHP officers arrived.

Garrett said the confrontation moved from the encampment to the freeway connector. After failing to respond to verbal commands, the man renewed his threatening behavior and officers shot him, Garrett said. More than one officer fired a weapon, he said.

A man who works at a business near the site said he heard "six to seven shots." He declined to give his name.

Officers closed not only the main freeway connector, but also the Santa Fe Avenue transition road from the eastbound 10 to the northbound 5 Freeway.

"The eastbound 10 is probably out of control at this point," Garrett said about 7 p.m.

Copyright 2007 The Los Angelels Times

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