Authorities Thursday identified a man who was fatally shot by a California Highway Patrol officer inside the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles.
Timothy Elam, 42, died at the scene of the shooting, which occurred about 6:10 a.m. Wednesday in the 300 block of South Spring Street, according to the coroner’s office and the CHP. His home town was not known.
According to the CHP, Elam followed an employee into the building and began ordering people to get on the ground before taking up a shooting stance while holding what turned out to be an aluminum can in a bag. The building was not open to the public at the time.
Elam apparently was not a current or former employee of the building, CHP Sgt. Saul Gomez said, adding that the investigation was continuing.
Gomez told reporters that when Elam entered the building, his hands were covered in the bag, and as he approached the security checkpoint inside the door, he raised his covered hands in an “aggressive shooting stance” and began barking orders at people inside.
As some people got on the ground, a CHP officer who was in the building confronted Elam and fired an estimated five shots, fatally wounding him, Gomez said.
Investigators later found that Elam was holding an aluminum can concealed inside the bag, according to the CHP.
Gomez said Elam’s intentions were unclear. No one else in the building was injured, including the officer who fired the shots, officials said.
The CHP provides security for the state building.