By Renée Santos

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New video shows police opening fire on a man in the middle of a busy West Sacramento intersection.

The suspect, a man in his 20s, was killed on Ikea Court Thursday afternoon just before 4 p.m. A law enforcement expert says police may have prevented an even bigger tragedy in the busy area.

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In a rapidly developing dangerous situation, former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness says officers’ first move is to protect themselves and the people around them.

Watching a video of the police shooting obtained exclusively by CBS13, McGinness points out the two drivers behind the armed suspect stopped on Ikea Court near Reed Avenue. In the video, you can see both drivers start slowly moving backward.

“[Police] communicated with those people to back up and those people complied to get them out of harm’s way,” he explained.

What happens next, he says, illustrates officers’ split-second decisions. The driver suddenly gets out of his car and starts running toward officers, then a barrage of gunshots ring out. The man gets up and then officers open fire again.

McGinness says the officers likely prevented an even bigger tragedy, especially because of the number of people in the area at the time.

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He says in an incident like this, there is immediately a possibility for one of the nearby drivers to be taken hostage or carjacked, potentially leading to a pursuit. McGinness says there’s also a concern for unintended consequences, like an innocent person being shot or hurt.

Kaitlyn Maye was heading back to work following her lunch break when she saw the officers roll up to the suspect’s car.

“They opened their doors and like barely go out and he was already up and out of his vehicle running towards them with his gun,” she explained.

She’s just grateful no one else was hurt, especially knowing how busy the area gets.

“There were at least 30 people just out you know, and it was so close like I was over here. The cops did what they needed to do to protect us,” she said.

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Right now, police are only sharing that the man killed was in his 20s. Investigators will be reviewing dash and body camera video.