Officers responded to Houston Street around 5:50 a.m. on a report of shots fired -- and heard more shots coming from the man's backyard. When they went around back to investigate...
... they saw he was holding a rifle.
What happened next is unclear, as LAPD officials will only say that the officer-involved-shooting is "still under investigation." But we know they're looking at this one long and hard, because the L.A. County Coroner's Office tells us that as of 2 p.m., a coroner's investigator hasn't been allowed on scene yet.
So the body is still exactly where it fell. (Which also means the man's identity won't be revealed for a while.)
Erica Fausto, a young woman whose cousin was married to the victim, told ABC7 that he "may have wounded himself before police arrived on scene," but that he wasn't trying to hurt anybody else:
"I think that's what happened, and then he was asking for help. The cops got here, and they didn't do anything, and they took my cousins out of their house and locked them in a room. There was more shooting, and nobody knows what happened."
We asked LAPD media relations whether the man pointed his rifle at the officers before they shot him. But Officer Rosario Herrera can say only that "the suspect had a gun, and that's when the officer-involved shooting occurred."
The confrontation went down on the 2500 block of Houston:
We'll be posting updates as soon as we receive them, so check back.
Is not even 7am and already cops and helicopters this early damn you Boyle Heights— Arturo Castro (@GetCakeTuro) June 1, 2012