Man Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting at Huntington Beach Near the U.S. Open of Surfing

Police say shots were fired after the suspect failed to comply with officers' commands, leading to the chaotic scene on and around the California beach

Man Shot And Killed By Huntington Police Saturday As Nearby Crowds Watched U.S. Open Of Surfing
Photo: CBS Los Angeles/Youtube

A man was killed in an officer-involved shooting that occurred near the U.S. Open of Surfing in California on Saturday, said authorities.

In a statement, the Huntington Beach Police Department said officers were alerted to a suspicious man with a gun at the Central Hub in Huntington Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway at approximately 3:15 p.m. local time, CBS Los Angeles reported.

The suspect did not comply with officers' commands, the statement read. That's when the officer-involved shooting occurred — with U.S. Open spectators and other beachgoers nearby.

Police stated that the suspect was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The man killed has not been identified.

Huntington Beach spokesperson Jennifer Carey said a gun was found at the scene, according to KTLA. An investigation into the shooting has been turned over to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Neither department responded to PEOPLE's request for comment prior to publication.

Witnesses of the shooting spoke to CBS Los Angeles about the incident, which unfolded in broad daylight. One U.S. Open attendee was initially confused when shots first rang out.

"We were about to head to surfing tents. That's when we heard, like, three gunshots," June H. told the station, "but we thought it was firecrackers and people turned around and half the people thought it was a show for some reason."

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Luckily, Carey said the U.S. Open of Surfing had already wrapped for the day. "The crowds, the athletes had kind of dispersed," she said, per KTLA, calling it "one great thing about the timing" of the shooting.

"Additionally, because of the U.S. Open, we had a lot of extra officers on hand," she added. "Due to that, our officers were able to get to the call much more quickly and much more effectively."

Brittany Turner, a nearby diner, also described how the "intense situation" played out. She first realized something was going on when others around her began "panicking."

"And then you hear the gunshots and everyone at the restaurant instantly, including servers, just kind of dropped to the ground, not knowing what was going on," she explained.

Turner also depicted a chaotic and confusing scene after shots were fired. "Some people were running," she told CBS Los Angeles. "Everyone was looking around, like, 'What's going on? Was it fireworks? Was it a gunshots?' Like, no one really knew. Then there was people on the ground, which made more people drop to the ground."

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