A Los Angeles Police Department helicopter. Photo by John Schreiber.

Authorities Thursday identified a man who was shot and killed by police SWAT officers, who fired at him from a helicopter at the end of a standoff in Tujunga.

Anthony Soderberg, 29, of Shadow Hills died at the scene of the shooting, which occurred on Monday afternoon near the 11300 block of Alethea Drive, according to the coroner’s office.

The shooting marked the first time Los Angeles police SWAT officers opened fire from a helicopter hovering over a scene, the Los Angeles Police Department said. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told reporters Tuesday it appeared Soderberg was struck by gunfire from the air.

The shooting came at the end of a nearly six-hour stand-off that began around 9 a.m. Monday after police received a “hot prowler” call from a woman who lived in a home in the 11300 block of Alethea Drive.

The woman escaped the home through a bedroom window and warned police that there were several guns inside. Soderberg, who allegedly shot at police, was flushed out of the home with tear gas and fled out the back of the residence, where he tumbled down a ravine.

Beck told the Los Angeles Times that the house was at the top of a hill, surrounded by brush and debris, which created  a “very difficult” location for SWAT officers, contributing to the decision to bring in the officers trained to fire from a helicopter.

Experts have said such shootings from the air are justified only in the most desperate situations and when other tactics might be more dangerous, The Times reported.

“The suspect definitely had high ground at all of the ground officers, was firing indiscriminately at them and actually fired at the helicopter, we believe,” Beck said.

Beck told police commissioners Tuesday it appeared that department officials acted appropriately when deciding to put SWAT officers inside the helicopter.

—City News Service

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