Los Angeles police fatally shoot man at busy train station

A man armed with a knife was shot and killed by police at a downtown train station during the morning rush hour Thursday, Los Angeles police said.

Officers responded to one of the station's platforms just before 7 a.m. after getting a call from officers with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority about a man with a knife, LAPD Officer Drake Madison said.

He said the LAPD officers used a less-than-lethal option before the shooting, though he didn't know whether that was a rubber bullet, a stun gun or another device.

"They attempted to deescalate, it didn't work and unfortunately an officer-involved shooting occurred," Madison said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Madison didn't immediately have more details on what threat the man was posing and whether one or more officers fired their weapons.

It's unclear how busy the platform was at the time of the shooting but the station is a major transportation portal. The platform where the shooting occurred takes people to and from Santa Monica, and across from that is the platform that goes to and from Long Beach.

"That's the first thing we were thinking of," Madison said of the officers' mindset during the confrontation. "On a work day at 6:52 a.m., it's going to be pretty busy down there."

Metro spokesman Rick Jager said he also didn't know exactly how many commuters were in the area, but said "it's very fortunate there were no other injuries involved."

He said he didn't know whether the man had been threatening passengers before Metro officers called police, but did say the officers had an altercation with him beforehand.

The last known officer-involved shooting at a Metro station was in March 2017, when LAPD officers heard gunshots at a station in Boyle Heights outside of downtown. Police fatally shot Fred Barragan after they said he pulled a gun as he ran from officers, while his family maintained he had been unarmed. The shooting sparked protests and led to a $475,000 settlement for Barragan's family.

In October 2016, a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy shot a man who had a knife in each hand and had charged at officers at a Santa Monica Metro station, police said at the time. The man survived and he was charged with attempted murder.