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The Region

September 15, 1986

A suspected thief was accidentally shot and killed by a Los Angeles police officer after the man reached for a black glove the officer thought was a weapon, Lt. Charles Higbie said. Detective Gary Strickland had ordered William Vachwick, 25, to lie face down on the driveway of a North Hollywood home when officers staking out the residence moved in to arrest another man inside, Higbie said. When Strickland, 43, ordered Vachwick to take his hands out from under his body, the detective saw a black object in his hand which he thought was a weapon, Higbie said. Vachwick bumped the detective's shotgun and it accidentally fired, killing Vachwick, the lieutenant said. Kevin Kennedy, being sought in more than two dozen robberies and the target of the stakeout, ran from his home and managed to elude an extensive neighborhood search, Higbie said. Inside the home, police found jewelry and cash believed to have been taken in about 25 residential robberies in the Los Angeles area.

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