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Probe of shooting that killed bystander

October 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
An investigation is underway into an officer-involved shooting in Anaheim that left an innocent bystander dead.Flowers mark the spot where Julian Alexander, 20, was killed early Tuesday morning.

An Anaheim police officer was chasing four burglary suspects near the victim's house at about 1:30 a.m. Alexander stepped outside to investigate the noise, and the officer, a 10-year veteran of the force, saw some kind of stick in his hand and fired twice.

Now both the family and the police department are searching for answers into what led to Tuesday morning's deadly shooting.

"You know what he was doing? He was protecting his property, and he was protecting his neighbors. And this is what happens," said Julian Alexander's stepfather, Alfred Bell.

Alexander had married a week ago and was expecting a baby in December.

"I just love him so much," said Julian's widow, Rene Alexander. "I'm so sorry that this happened. He was a good person."

Anaheim Police Chief John Welter met with about 30 members of Alexander's family Tuesday afternoon at a news conference. While not coming out and saying it was the department's fault, Chief Welter said he wanted Alexander's family to know that the 20-year-old, in the department's eyes, was an innocent bystander in this incident.

"It turns out the man who was shot, Julian Alexander, was innocent of anything the officer suspected was going on in that neighborhood. And the family wanted me to make sure that I said to the media he was not a suspect in any particular crime," said Anaheim Police Chief John Welter.

"My son is an individual that anyone who has ever met him has said to me, 'He is such a nice boy'," said Julian's mother, Cheryl Bell.

There will be three separate investigations of the shooting, from the Anaheim Police Department, the Office of Independent Review and the Orange County District Attorney's Office. It will be up to the D.A.'s office to determine if this shooting was justified.

The officer involved is 32 years old and a 10-year veteran of the department. He has been placed on administrative leave.


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