Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials on Sunday displayed photos and a video appearing to show a man holding a gun just before he was fatally shot Saturday by deputies in an incident that has generated debate about police use of force.

Sheriff’s officials said at a news conference that the man, Nicholas Robertson, 28, fired six to seven shots into the air on a residential street in Lynwood before walking into a bustling shopping district on Long Beach Boulevard around 11 a.m.

He entered at least one business on the boulevard, “behaving erratically with gun in hand,” said Capt. Steve Katz of the sheriff’s homicide unit. A video displayed at the news conference showed Robertson on the street appearing to hold a gun as the two deputies arrived.

Katz said “public safety was critical here” because there were people on the street, including some at a gas station that Robertson was walking toward. Robertson at one point pointed the gun in the deputies’ direction and ignored their commands for him to drop the weapon, he said.

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