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Questions over Carl's Jr. police shooting

January 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The amateur video of a suspect being killed outside a Monterey Park Carl's Jr. has a lot of people asking why police resorted to deadly force.

The man, identified as 22-year-old Steven Rodriguez, was shot during a confrontation with police at the main entrance to the Carl's Jr. in the 1200 block of Avenida Cesar Chavez on Monday.

The video shows Rodriguez raising a pipe toward a police officer. Two officers open fire - first five rounds, and then the second officer fires five more.

"I watched it a couple times over, and I almost felt like crying," said Mario Duarte of Monterey Park.

Duarte is the same age as the man who was killed in the shooting. Duarte says he didn't know Rodriguez, but he felt compelled to stop by the growing memorial outside of the fast-food restaurant.

"I kind of felt like I needed to come out here and pay my respects," he said.

There are many who feel like the shooting was not justified, including the suspect's father, who said he did not feel as though the officers were justified.

"There should have been another option. They didn't have to kill the guy," said Matt Kiernan of Alhambra.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is investigating the officer-involved shooting. They say it appears as though the officers were acting within department policy.

Police had been called because Rodriguez was smashing windows at the Carl's Jr. Moments before he was shot, one of the officers tried to use a Taser, but Rodriguez seemed unfazed, pulling the wires off his face.

Still, others wonder why the officer didn't release the German Shepherd he was holding.

"I think the dog could have handled it," said April Rodriguez of East Los Angeles.

The windows that Rodriguez smashed have been boarded up, and the restaurant has reopened.


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