By Josh Campbell and Sarah Moon, CNN
(CNN) — The California Department of Justice is investigating after a state officer opened fire and killed a pedestrian in the middle of a Southern California freeway, the department announced Monday.
A video posted online Sunday appears to show a California Highway Patrol officer shooting a person multiple times after a struggle in the middle of Interstate 105 in south Los Angeles County.
A California Highway Patrol unit responded to a call around 3:15 p.m. Sunday about a person walking within traffic lanes along the freeway’s westbound lanes, the agency said in a news release. When the unit made contact with the pedestrian, “a struggle ensued and an officer involved shooting occurred,” according to the news release.
The officer was “in fear for his safety” after the individual used a taser against the officer, according to a separate statement from the California Highway Patrol.
“During the struggle, the pedestrian was able to access a taser he had in his possession, activated the weapon, and used the taser against the officer.” the statement read. “Following the pedestrian’s use of the weapon against the officer, and in fear for his safety, the officer fired his service weapon, striking the pedestrian.”
The initial highway patrol statement made no mention of a taser. CNN has reached out to the agency for the updated statement.
It’s unclear what led to the altercation. The department declined to provide any additional details, including the name of the pedestrian, and deferred all inquiries to the California Department of Justice.
The bystander video of the incident starts with the officer on top of the pedestrian in the middle of the freeway. The officer then draws their gun and a round quickly appears to strike the pavement next to the person. The footage shows the officer getting up and backing away while firing several more rounds at the person, who was still on the ground.
Under California law, state prosecutors are required to investigate all police shootings that involve the death of an unarmed civilian.
CNN has reached out to the California Department of Justice to confirm if it is aware of the bystander video, and whether the department considers the alleged use of a taser against an officer a justified use of deadly force.
The Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office confirmed to CNN the individual died, but the office was not able to identify the victim as the case is still pending next of kin notification.
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