An Albertsons grocery store in Southern California went from being a relatively peaceful place for people to shop and pick up some groceries to the scene of utter terror and police shooting when a man armed with multiple machetes terrorized customers and charged the responding sheriff’s deputies when they tried to talk him down.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred at an Albertson’s in the town of Lancaster, California. Lancaster is in northern Los Angeles County. Then, at about 9:30 in the morning on Tuesday, February 6, a male with two machetes stood outside the Albertsons entrance, posing a danger to the store’s staff and customers and prompting a disturbance call to the local law enforcement authorities.
The deputies tried speaking to the man to figure out what was going on, but instead of engaging with them, he grew increasingly agitated and grabbed both machetes. Then, refusing the demands of deputies that he drop the two weapons, he entered the Albertsons and was allegedly threatening customers. The deputies followed him inside and tried yet again to get him to drop the weapons.
He refused, prompting their use of less lethal force to get him to stop. That reportedly included using a taser, which proved unable to stop him. It did, however, agitate him. The machete-wielding man then responded by charging the deputies, with both machetes in hand, prompting them to open fire on him. He was pronounced dead at the hospital to which he was transported after the shooting.
An Albertsons employee, commenting to ABC 7 on the shooting aspect of the incident, said, “I heard shots and then everybody started running to the back and we exited through the back.” Continuing, the employee added, “That’s the worst experience I’ve ever had.”
Speaking to local media, Lt. Michael Gomez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that three deputies used lethal force during the incident. Further, Lt. Gomez added that the same individual was seen on security camera footage earlier in the day threatening a clerk with a machete. That incident occurred at about 3:45 in the morning.
ABC 7, adding more details on that aspect of the machete incident, reported, “A store clerk at the Chevron station said the man attacked her co-worker with the machete at around 3 a.m. The worker’s hand was cut and she dashed out of the store bleeding, and was driven to a hospital by a customer. The victim was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, authorities said.”
After the shooting, Fox LA reports, the law enforcement authorities investigated the individual’s vehicle, which remained in the Albertsons parking lot and was cordoned off with yellow police tape. The law enforcement officers were reportedly worried that it could be booby-trapped, prompting the careful investigation of it.
Fortunately, no deputies or Albertsons shoppers were injured during the shocking incident. The man’s next of kin were identified by the law enforcement authorities, who identified him at the time only as a white man in his 40s.
Watch ABC 7’s report on the incident here:
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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