Man fatally shot after ordering California workers to ground

A man who simulated having a gun with a can inside a paper bag followed an employee into a state office building in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, took "an aggressive shooting stance" and ordered workers to the ground before an officer fatally shot him, police said.

The Ronald Reagan State Office Building, which houses a California appeals court, a regional office for Gov. Jerry Brown, the state insurance department, and several other state offices, was not open to the public when the shooting happened around 6 a.m.

The man, whose name hasn't been released, was able to enter the building by following an employee who used their identification card to swipe into the building, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Saul Gomez said. The man "initially began yelling at the employees, stood in an aggressive shooting form, and he demanded people get down," Gomez said.

The employees began to get on the ground when a CHP officer, who was guarding the building, confronted the suspect and at least three shots were fired, Gomez said. The suspect, who police say is in his 40s, was shot and killed at the scene. Police said Wednesday afternoon that after processing the crime scene they determined the man had simulated having a handgun with an aluminum can that was concealed inside a paper bag.

The man briefly exchanged words with some of the employees in the lobby, the sergeant said, but police would not provide details about the conversation.

Authorities said the man was carrying out-of-state identification, but they do not believe he traveled to California to target the building, Gomez said. Police said he was not a current or former employee.

Investigators are still trying to pin down a possible motive and will probe the suspect's background to determine if he had "a gripe with anyone in the building," Gomez said.

California Highway Patrol officers stood guard outside the building Wednesday afternoon as investigators continued to comb for evidence. A throng of police vehicles lined the street outside, and part of the building was cordoned off with crime scene tape.

The CHP is responsible for security in the building. But Gomez said it was too early to say whether the agency would review or reevaluate any security procedures.


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