Torrance arson suspect Asa Dolak killed at Madrona Middle School

TORRANCE, Calif.

According to investigators, Asa James Dolak was found hiding in a bathroom inside the school in Torrance. They said Dolak was armed with a knife and had blood on his hands. He allegedly confronted officers before fleeing the bathroom.

Dolak ran outside to a school field where another confrontation happened, forcing police to open fire, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene at about 1:35 p.m.

Asa Dolak was wanted in connection with two arson fires and an attempted murder in Torrance early Thursday. Police say that shortly after midnight, Dolak threatened his ex-girlfriend with a knife in her apartment on the 16700 block of Crenshaw Boulevard, where she lived with their 2-year-old son.

"As she ran out of the location, he then set the apartment on fire. He fled the location and left the 2-year-old there, basically to burn to death," said Torrance Police Sgt. Robert Watt.

Police and firefighters rescued the child. He was transported to a hospital for smoke-inhalation and was expected to recover. Other residents were forced out of the four-unit apartment building, which sustained extensive damage.

At about 2 a.m., Dolak allegedly set fire to his mother's home on the 3200 block of Opal Avenue. She escaped unharmed.

Investigators said they had talked to Dolak by phone after the second fire.

"He advised our officers that he was upset with his family, that he was going to kill his family if they contacted him, and if police were going to contact him, he was going to kill the police, and he was going to do so every 20 minutes upon contact with us," said Watt.

Dolak had a history of petty crimes, and was also known for several domestic disputes with his ex-girlfriend. She had filed a restraining order against Dolak.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to contact Torrance Police at (310) 618-5570.

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