The Los Angeles Police Department says that a man killed by its officers in front of shocked tourists and onlookers at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue was not dressed as a character from the movie Scream at the time of the Friday confrontation.
The 7 p.m. shooting happened after someone called 911 to report an non-injury assault by a knife-wielding man, police said. Outside the Hollywood & Highland shopping center, officers confronted the suspect, said to be about 22-years-old, and fatally shot him after he allegedly made a threatening move with a knife, they said.
Witnesses reported that the man had been shot in the head multiple times by officers.
Over the weekend KPCC (89.3 FM) published a report saying that witnesses believe the young man was the same person who roamed the boulevard dressed as a character from the Wes Craven-directed franchise Scream.
Street performer Tray Cherry told the station that the man's shtick was that he “tries to stick a knife on somebody trying to be scary.”
Witnesses said he was known to use a plastic knife.
That's not what police say they found on the ground after the shooting, however. LAPD Media Relations officials posted a photo on Twitter of folding, compact Swiss Army knife they said was used by the alleged attacker.
— Steve Marmel (@Marmel) December 8A Facebook group called Los Angeles People's Media claimed on Facebook Saturday that witnesses said “he was waving the FAKE knife that he used for his character on the Blvd.”
Cops say he was not dressed in a costume and that they're not yet sure if it's true he was part of the cadre of movie-tribute characters who work tourists on the boulevard for dollars, usually accepted for posing for photos.
“We do not yet know about his activities or employment,” LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told us, “but we do not believe he was dressed as a character at the time of the incident.”
He was hospitalized in critical condition before being pronounced dead, authorities said.
As a matter of routine, the officer-involved shooting was being investigated by the department's Force Investigation Division.