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Bel Air fatal officer-involved shooting investigation underway

An investigation is underway in Bel Air following an officer-involved shooting that left an armed man dead Sunday.
November 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
An investigation is underway in Bel Air following an officer-involved shooting that left an armed man dead Sunday.

The incident happened shortly before 3:30 a.m. in an exclusive neighborhood in the 1200 block of Stone Canyon Road.

Neighbor Stephen Verona says the suspect smelled gas in the house and called the gas company. When the utility worker arrived, he called 911 saying the suspect had threatened him with a gun.

Los Angeles police rushed to the scene and encountered the armed suspect. That's when they say an officer-involved shooting occurred. The suspect died from his gunshot wounds.

Police say they have been called to man's residence before for his odd behavior.

Neighbors identified the suspect as 78-year-old Robert Bandler, or "R.J." Neighbors who live nearby told Eyewitness News that the suspect was well-known in the area as "Crazy Bob" and "Bird Man."

"He's a Vietnam vet, and I think part of the issues for him are Agent Orange. He loses it quite often," neighbor Diane Raiskin said of Bandler.

Friends say Bandler had numerous weapons in the home, which he inherited from his parents, but say they didn't think he was dangerous; however, they describe his behavior as strange.

"This guy "Crazy Bob" wanders up and down the street from time to time. We get a little nervous about what he's going to do, but he usually goes back home, and there's been no event," neighbor Michael Dempsey said.

The city boasts little to no crime and includes residents such as tennis players and sisters Venus and Serena Williams. Kareem Abdul Jabbar also used to live up the street from where the shooting occurred.

The LAPD and district attorney's office are investigating the fatal officer-involved shooting.


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