LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A man who walked into the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles and began ordering people to get on the ground before taking up a shooting stance while holding what turned out to be an
aluminum can in a bag was fatally shot on Wednesday by a California Highway Patrol officer.
The approximately 40-year-old man followed an employee into the building in the 300 block of South Spring Street at about 6:10 a.m. through the front door, CHP Sgt. Saul Gomez said. The building was not open to the public at the time.
The suspect -- who has not been positively identified and who may be from out of town -- apparently was not a current or former employee of the building, Gomez said in a briefing outside the building early this afternoon.
"We are still going through that database,'' Gomez said. "The building has 2,700 employees. Investigators have quite a task to go through all those names.''
When the man entered the building, his hands were covered in a bag, and as he approached the security checkpoint inside the door, he raised his covered hands in an "aggressive shooting stance'' and began barking orders at people inside. "He initially began yelling at the people to get down on the floor. He stood in an aggressive shooting form demanding that people do what he says." Gomez said.
As some people got on the ground, a CHP officer who was in the building confronted the man. "That suspect once again with his hands concealed within the bag...took an aggressive shooting stance toward the officer - raised his hands towards the officer at which point the officer fired." Gomez said.
He fired an estimated five shots, fatally wounding him, Gomez said.
Investigators later found the man was holding an aluminum can concealed inside a paper bag, according to the CHP.
Gomez said the man's intentions remain unclear. No one else in the building was injured, including the officer who fired the shots, officials said.
The CHP provides security for the state building.
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