Friends identified the man shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy Tuesday night in Castaic as Bill Bowers.
Homicide detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said, deputies tried to stop Bowers on his bicycle sound 9 p.m.
Security video from a nearby businesses showed Bowers drop his bicycle and then take off in the direction of the Rodeway Inn motel.
The video show’s one sheriff’s deputy get out of the car to follow him, while the other deputy drove ahead.
“The cop pulled in front of him and cut him off and jumped out,” witness, Colton Grooms, said. “He told him to get on the ground and he didn’t even give him a half a second to comply and he shot him once point blank in the chest from no more than five feet away.”
Homicide detectives are unclear why the deputy pulled the trigger, but said Bowers was known to cops in the area as a drug offender who they believed was on probation.
“There are some witnesses that are saying that the suspect’s hands were at his side,” Lt. Joe Mendoza, LA County Sheriff’s Department, said. “We also have witnesses that say his hands were near his waistband.”
Investigators didn’t recover any weapons.
If anything, his friends said Bowers was likely trying to empty his pockets of drugs before deputies could search him.
“Bill was a friend of mine, a real good friend and we couldn’t get up and done this street on these stupid bicycles without getting pulled over two or three times a day,” said another man in the area.
Bowers was homeless, but he was well known for helping out others, according to his friends.
Detectives are asking any more witnesses to the shooting to come forward and contact the sheriff’s department.