Man 'Firing In Air' Fatally Shot By Officers In Studio City

 STUDIO CITY (CNS) - A man who was apparently firing a gun on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City was fatally shot by police Friday, and a bomb squad detonated a pair of suspicious items found near the suspect's body.

Police and paramedics swarmed the area following the shooting, which occurred around 3:20 p.m., forcing the closure of stretches of Ventura and Laurel Canyon boulevards and creating rush-hour havoc in the heavily traveled area.

According to police, officers responded to a report of a man with a gun and possible shots fired near Ventura and Vantage Avenue. Various witnesses at
the scene said the man had fired at least one shot into the air before being confronted by police, who shot and killed him.

The man's body could be seen sprawled partially in a flower bed near a Union Bank at 12185 Ventura Blvd. Ventura Boulevard was closed between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Laurelgrove Avenue. Laurel Canyon Boulevard was also blocked at Ventura Boulevard.
 
A bomb squad responded to the scene with a robot that was used to inspect and detonate two packages near the suspect's body. A SWAT team also swept the area, and people were told to remain inside nearby businesses.

Capt. Steve Carmona, commanding officer of the LAPD's North Hollywood Station, said the suspect was armed with a handgun. No one but the gunman was hit by gunfire, he said.

After the bomb squad robot rendered both packages safe, officers were finally able to approach the suspect and determined he was dead at the scene, said LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar.

Carmona said it did not appear there had been a bank robbery, as initial reports had indicated. An officer involved in traffic control at the scene was taken to a hospital for treatment of a medical illness, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

It was unclear when Ventura Boulevard would be reopened.

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