According to the Los Angeles Times, the man, whom witnesses called "Africa," was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The incident, which occurred downtown in the city's Skid Row area, was captured on video and uploaded to Facebook. WARNING: content is disturbing.
The video shows a confrontation in which the homeless man appears to throw a punch at police as officers try to contain him. One officer drops his nightstick, which a woman picks up off the ground. Two officers push her to the ground to restrain her. Meanwhile, several officers fight the man to the ground. At least one officer can be heard repeatedly shouting, "Drop the gun," after which five gunshots can be heard.
One witness, Yolanda Young, told CBS2 that the altercation occurred over an argument in a tent.
“Next thing I know, dude swung on a cop and the cop swung back. And they were hitting on him and then two other cop cars pulled up and they got out of the car and ran over there, and they had three Tasers out," Young said.
Africa had spent 10 years at a mental facility before settling into Skid Row four or five months ago, neighbor Ina Murphy told the LA Times. Another resident also said that police had asked Africa multiple times to dismantle his tent, in accordance to a court ruling that allows folks to sleep on Skid Row at night as long as they take down their tents during the day.
LAPD spokesman Sgt. Barry Montgomery said the officers were responding to a robbery call on the 500 block of San Pedro Street. No officers were hurt. The name of the victim has not been released. There will be an investigation to determine if the use of force was properly deployed.
In a video posted to Facebook, LAPD officers can be seen pointing their guns at a homeless man after shooting at him multiple times on Sunday.