Man With Airsoft Gun Killed In Long Beach Officer-Involved Shooting Identified

On Saturday, May 7, 2016, at approximately 4:46 P.M., the Long Beach Police Department received a call from a citizen who stated a man with an Uzi in his hand was in the area of 21st Street and Locust Avenue standing next to a vehicle and talking to three individuals. This call ultimately led to an officer involved shooting. The man as been identified as 21-year-old Lionel Gibson of Long Beach


The preliminary investigation has determined the following:

• The first responding officers arrived to the area within four minutes of the phone call to police.
• The officers located the male suspect and the vehicle matching what the calling party described.
• The officers observed the male suspect and another male individual standing outside of the vehicle.
• The officers observed the butt of a gun exposed from the waistband of the suspect.
• The officers gave several verbal commands to the suspect and the individual to place their hands up.
• Despite giving several clear commands, the suspect did not comply and reached his hand toward the butt of the gun in his waistband.
• At this point an officer involved shooting occurred.
• The suspect was hit by gunfire and the officers rendered medical aid.
• Long Beach Fire Department Paramedics responded and pronounced the suspect deceased at the scene.
• No other individuals or officers were injured as a result of this incident.
• An assault rifle was recovered from the waistband of the suspect.
• After closer examination, the assault rifle was later determined to be an air soft replica assault rifle (actual rifle recovered is pictured above).
• The individual that was standing with the suspect and two male individuals who were located inside the vehicle were detained for further investigation.
• A handgun was recovered from one of the individuals detained. He will be booked on the charge of an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. His identity is not being released at this time pending further investigation.
• The deceased suspect has not been identified at this time. Once identification is made, his information will be released pending notification to next of kin.
• The criminal histories of all those involved will not be released at this time.
• The nature of the activities of the suspects remain unclear and the investigation is ongoing.

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The Police Department thoroughly reviews all use of force incidents through a rigorous multi-step process that evaluates legal, policy, tactical and equipment issues. In addition, all officer-involved shootings where a death occurs are independently investigated by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Additional information regarding the Long Beach Police Department Officer Involved Shooting Process is available online.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Long Beach Police Homicide Detail at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or visiting