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Second fatal deputy shooting this week

November 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A suspect was shot and killed in Azusa after a short pursuit, the second fatal deputy-involved shooting this week.The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said deputies spotted a suspect driving a stolen vehicle in the San Dimas area at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Police pursued the suspect into Azusa, where he ditched the car and ran into a neighborhood.

Police combed the area for the suspect and brought in a K-9 unit, who found him hiding in the corner of a backyard.

Residents heard police yelling, then gunfire. Witness Gerardo Gaillardo said he heard about seven shots. When he saw officers walking out, Gaillardo said he knew the suspect had been shot.

"We already knew, you know, he was down already," he said.

Deputies said they were forced to open fire because the suspect reached for a deputy's gun. There was a struggle for the weapon, and shots were fired before deputies opened fire.

Residents were shaken by the incident.

"We were locked down for two hours. We couldn't leave, or we couldn't even go to the store to get milk for my son," said witness Kayla Griffin.

The suspect has not been identified. Police said he was 18 or 19 years old. Police said they found a bulletproof vest and other items inside the stolen vehicle, which led them to believe the suspect may have been armed.


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