Scary footage shows ‘armed’ black man in San Bernardino wrestled to the ground and shot four times at close range’

THIS is the terrifying moment an "armed" black man was wrestled to the ground and "shot four times at close range" in San Bernardino.

Protests erupted in the California city after Mark Matthew Bender Jr, 35, was allegedly shot dead by a police officer on Thursday night.

The cop was reportedly responding to reports of someone jumping on cars – and a KTLA photographer's cellphone footage showed him struggling with Bender.

The incident occurred at the 200 block of West Base Line Street outside King Tut Liquor, where the officer can be seeing pulling out his gun and firing it at Bender.

Law enforcement released the bodycam footage which revealed that the officer pointed his gun at Bender as he walked past the store.

But the San Bernardino police department said Bender was armed with an unregistered gun and released a picture of the loaded 9mm handgun recovered from the scene.

On Friday, demonstrators gathered at a police press conference and around the scene of the shooting by nightfall decrying his police custody death.

The shooting happened shortly after 11pm when the unidentified cop was dispatched to the liquor store.

Sgt John Echevarria said they'd received reports of an armed man jumping on cars in the parking lot and 911 audio revealed a woman telling cops about a "man with a gun" who was "just going crazy."

"There's a man real drunk up there – he's jumping on top of cars, he has a gun," she tells them.

The cops bodycam footage showed the moments leading up to Bender's fatal shooting as the officer immediately draws his gun

"Hey, yo man, come here," he said, pointing the firearm, as Bender asked "Why you got a gun on me?"

"Let me see your hands," the cop said as Bender raises his arms, then drops them and pulls up his trousers.

"I'm going to the store," Bender replied as the cop then tries to restrain him while he repeatedly shouted "don't touch me."

"Stop moving!" the cop shouted, demanded Bender "get on the ground."

"What are you doing? Get off of me?" Bender said, before four shots can be heard ringing out.

A witnesses cellphone footage captured the cop wrestling Bender to the ground and on top of the struggling black man, who manages to get to his feet.

What are you doing? Get off of me!

Bender – who had a dark object in his hand which appears to be a handgun – had his back to the officer, who can be seeing four shots at close range.

He was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital and police defended the officer involved.

"The suspect was large in size and was able to physically overpower the officer," Echevarria said. "

"The suspect retrieved a weapon from his pocket and was turning to face the officer. At that time, an officer-involved shooting occurred.

"The officer saw the weapon, and during the struggle, was able to disengage during that fight for control of that suspect, and was able to back away and protect himself by discharging his weapon."

Echevarria said Bender had prior arrests dating back 17 years, for allegations of attempted murder, false imprisonment, domestic violence, theft and possession of narcotics.

He didn't confirm whether the cop was aware of this at the time of the shooting.

San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office has launched an investigation as protesters took to the streets.

"You can't justify a murder because he had a gun," neighbor John Anderson told KCBS.

"He had a gun, if he did, to protect themselves, probably from them. They're the ones doing the damage, they're the ones doing the hurt."

The news comes after Derek Chauvin – the cop who knelt on George Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes – had the third-degree murder charge against him dropped.

A judge maintained second-degree murder and manslaughter charges against the ex-Minneapolis police officer, however.

Floyd's death on May 25 prompted widespread Black Lives Matter protests around the country.

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