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Officer Kills Fleeing Robbery Suspect

Sheriff's officials say the suspect in a lingerie store robbery reached for his waistband when he turned and faced the officer.

An Azusa police officer conducting a patrol check fatally shot a man suspected of trying to rob an adult store early Monday, the sheriff's department reported.

The shooting occurred outside Red Panty's Lingerie, an adult store inside a strip mall at 530 S. Citrus Avenue, near Gladstone Street, about 12:50 a.m., according to a witness at the scene.

According to sheriff's officials, the Azusa officer was flagged down by the shop's store clerk, who said a man had just robbed the store and along with a store customer, pointed out the suspect.

The suspect was detained by the officer at gunpoint, but ran from the officer across Citrus Avenue and was shot once in the chest when he turned around and reached for his waistband, sheriff's officials said.

The store clerk told police that before the shooting the suspect had come into the store, simulated a weapon and demanded money from the cash register, but the suspect ran from the store before getting any money when he saw the police officer's car pull into the parking lot.

Los Angeles County firefighters took the wounded suspect to County-USC Medical Center. where he was pronounced dead, dispatcher supervisor Robert Diaz said.

Neither the name of the suspect nor the Azusa officer who shot and killed the man was available for release, sheriff's Sgt. Pauline Panis said.

A witness told ABC7 that the officer told the suspect to halt and to put his hands in the air "about three times," but the man started away from the officer, then suddenly turned on him, which prompted the officer to fire at him, the witness said.

The shooting was being investigated by the sheriff's homicide bureau and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Justice System Integrity Division shooting team.

Anyone with information was asked to call sheriff's Lt. David Dolson of the sheriff's homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500.

joebanana November 07, 2012 at 04:46 AM
"When he turned around and reached for his waistband". How many times have we heard that one after a police murder? Was a weapon found at the scene? Wouldn't that be part of the story? I'm taking it as another unarmed citizen gunned down by incompetant cops.

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