Specially trained SWAT officers from the Los Angeles police department shot a man from a helicopter hovering over the scene in a neighborhood north of the city on Monday afternoon, killing the suspect and marking the first time officers in the city have opened fire from a helicopter.

Police chief Charlie Beck said it was not clear how many times the man had been shot or whether the gunfire came from the ground or air, but, he said, he appeared to have been stuck by fire from above, according to the Los Angeles Times.

It is rare for police to fire from helicopters. The aircraft’s movement or conditions inside it can make such shots especially hard and can hinder accuracy. But it has been done before.

In 2015, officers in San Bernardino County opened fire on a suspect in a wrong-way chase on the 215 freeway, and in 1982, a car-chase suspect surrendered after a sheriff’s deputy fired a pistol from a helicopter hovering over a freeway after waiting for a break in traffic.


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