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Knife-Wielding, Snake-Dancing Man Shot By Police In Planet Fitness Parking Lot

TORRANCE (CBSLA) — A man who police say was wielding a knife was shot to death Friday by officers in the parking lot of a Planet Fitness location in Torrance.

The shooting occurred just before 9 a.m. in the 20000 block of Hawthorne Boulevard, according to Torrance police Sgt. Ronald Harris.

Officers responded to the location on "a service call involving a subject brandishing a knife in the area of Planet Fitness," he said.

Police say the suspect - described as in his 30s -had a folding knife that was approximately four inches in length, which he was waving around in the parking lot.

Witnesses said the man was holding a snake and doing some sort of "ritualistic dance" with the snake in the parking lot, according to CBS2's Michele Gile.

An aquarium was spotted at the scene, but no snake was spotted at the location.

When the man refused to comply with officers' commands and continued toward them, the officer-involved shooting occurred, said Harris.

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(credit: CBS)

"He decided he had enough of all this and he gets up and starts amping himself up, and then turns around and goes walking straight at the officers with no intent to stop as far as I'm concerned," said witness Brandon Hallock.

"They opened fire on him and he just went down," he added.

SKY9 captured images of what appeared to a firearm of some sort at the scene, but there was no confirmation of the type of weapon.

There was no immediate information available on the suspect, who died at the scene, Harris said.

No officers were injured.

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The crime scene at an officer-involved shooting in Torrance. (credit: CBS2)
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