- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

BELL, Calif. (AP) - A knife-wielding man was aggressive toward a woman holding a young child and provoked Bell police before officers opened fire and fatally shot him near a busy intersection, Los Angeles County authorities and several witnesses said.

Vinson Lee Ramos, 37, was declared dead at a hospital shortly after the shooting, sheriff’s officials said.

He had taunted police, lunged at them and told them to shoot him as shoppers scattered outside a 7-Eleven store in the tiny city southeast of downtown Los Angeles, witness David Robles said.

“He provoked the officers, Robles told KNBC-TV. “He was telling them, ‘Shoot me!’ “

Ramos had been following the woman, who repeatedly tried to get away from him, witnesses said. The two apparently knew each other and had been arguing.

Bell police Lt. Bob Cotter told reporters the man did not obey officers’ orders to drop the knife. Police were forced to “make a split-second” decision to shoot when he came at them with the weapon, Cotter said.

“He made somewhat of a stride toward an officer, and that’s when they shot him,” witness Julio Ruiz told KABC-TV.

The woman and child were not hurt.

Police recovered a folding knife at the scene. Bell police and sheriff’s officials were investigating.

Earlier Thursday, Bell police responded about a mile away to the shooting of a man in his 20s found dead in a vehicle that had crashed into a building.

Authorities haven’t said if the two incidents are connected.

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This story has been corrected after updated information from authorities to show that Ramos is 37, not 36.


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