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Police: California officers shoot, kill man armed with knife

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Southern California police on Tuesday shot and killed a man who was holding a knife during a foot chase, authorities said.

Bakersfield police say the man, whose name was not made public, was initially holding a gun — prompting officers to open fire — but he discarded it and ran through dirt fields.

Minutes later, officers again opened fire, fatally striking the man, the department said in a news release. He had been armed with only a knife at the time of the second shooting, police said.

A total of eight Bakersfield police officers fired their guns during the two shootings, which were recorded on body-worn cameras. Those officers have been put on paid administrative leave.

Police were initially called to the area around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday following a report of a man armed with a handgun near railroad tracks. Officers “made contact” with the man, but police did not specify how or whether there were any attempts to de-escalate the situation.

It was not immediately clear whether the man ever opened fire at the officers. The state Department of Justice is investigating the fatal shooting.

Bakersfield is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of downtown Los Angeles.

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