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2 officers hurt in Kmart shoplifting shooting

July 3, 2010 12:11:28 AM PDT
Two officers were shot and wounded following a struggle with a shoplifting suspect at a Burbank Kmart on Friday. Investigators are still trying to iron out fuzzy details on who pulled the trigger.Burbank Police officers responded to shoplifting reports at the Kmart located on the 1000 block of San Fernando Road at about 12:30 p.m.

Investigators are still trying to iron out the details on who shot which weapon first, but authorities said the suspect was approached by officers and resisted arrest.

That's when a gun entered the equation.

"During the struggle, shots were fired, two officers were hit, and that's when all the other officers responded," said Burbank Police Department Sgt. Robert Quesada.

Investigators say that one officer was hit in the hand, and the other officer was hit in the leg. So far, authorities have yet to clarify if the gun used was a police weapon or the suspect's weapon.

At the time of the shooting, shoppers were in the parking lot or coming out of the store.

"I came out, and then I saw the policeman with a lot of blood in his hand," described witness Sue Farhadi.

Frank Galuppo came out of the business he owns right after the shots were fired.

"I saw the officer staggering while the officers tried to take him down, and he had him to the ground and had him handcuffed. He stood up and Tased him," Galuppo said. "The guy screamed, and he was still struggling and trying to get up so he Tased him again."

One witness, Varouj Aghasatourian said the suspect's hands were cuffed behind his back during the entire shooting incident, starting from when officers nabbed him for shoplifting.

"I heard five, six gunshots," described Aghasatourian.

Police say the injuries to the officers and the suspect are not life-threatening. Authorities are still trying to straighten out the details on who exactly fired those shots.


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