ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — California police shot a man dead after he barricaded himself inside a minivan with gas can and a lighter during a traffic stop before emerging with a knife, officials said Monday.
Officers in the Los Angeles suburb of Orange pulled over the white minivan late Sunday for a vehicle code violation when the driver shut himself inside with a cigarette and lighter and poured gasoline onto a rag, said Orange police Lt. Fred Lopez.
"We felt this guy was going to light himself on fire or blow the car up," Lopez said.
Police broke the minivan's windows and used a fire hose to flush the man out and protect people at a 24-hour laundry and other businesses in a surrounding strip mall, Lopez said.
Moments later, the man exited through the driver's side window. Officers tried to arrest him when he reached behind his back and pulled out a knife, Lopez said.
No knife can be seen on video footage of the incident aired by KABC-TV.There, the shirtless man is partially blocked from view by another vehicle after he climbs out the driver's side window and struggles with officers. A voice is heard yelling "knife" moments before two shots are heard.
The man, who was described as in his 30s, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, police said. He was not immediately identified by authorities.
Lopez declined to say how many shots were fired.
The shooting is being investigated by the county district attorney's office.
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