A police shootout in Huntington Beach during the U.S. Open Surfing left a man dead on Saturday. Around 3:15 p.m., authorities got reports of a guy with a gun near the city’s famed pier. According to a police statement, the individual did not respond to authorities’ demands.
Officers responded by opening fire. The wounded man was given CPR before being transferred to the hospital, where he died. The individual was identified as Ronnie Andrew Garcia, 43, by the Coroner’s Division. The location of his residence was not immediately disclosed. According to authorities, a gun was seized at the site.
Garcia, who has a bald head and is dressed in blue basketball shorts and a white T-shirt, slowly backs away from the line of officers. He would have been looking right into the patio of Sandy’s Beach Shack, where hundreds of customers are seated. He fumbles with a little bundle, a white shirt-wrapped thing. Suddenly, he extends his arm, pointing the bundle in the direction of the cops.
A police officer was heard stopping him then a barrage of bullets was shot. Garcia crumples to the ground, writhing in agony. The cops ordered him to remain on the ground. He snatches the package once more, revealing what appears to be a small black object.
Authorities open fire again, causing sand to erupt around the man, who is riddled with bullets. They fire till he falls on the ground. While the footage does not show what the object is, authorities later stated that they retrieved a gun. Others present claimed to have seen the man points a gun at officers.
A photo showed a man lying on the sand, surrounded by at least five officers. Two officers were observed with their firearms drawn. Police and paramedics performed chest compressions on him for nearly 10 minutes before transporting him to an ambulance. He later died. First aid supplies were strewn on the sand in front of Sandy’s Beach Shack, along the pier, where the man was shot. A wide section of the beach was blocked off, stretching from the pier on Main Street to just behind the lifeguard station.
Thousands of people descended on the town over the weekend for the US Open of Surfing. According to authorities, the event had concluded for the day, and athletes and spectators had dispersed from the area. Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots.
The US Open resumed on Sunday as planned.