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D.A. Probing Police Slaying of Ex-Officer

November 05, 1986|United Press International

SAN JOSE — The fatal shooting of a former police officer from Connecticut who served a prison term is under investigation by the Santa Clara County district attorney's office, and three San Jose policemen have been placed on leave.

Police Sgt. Dwight Messimer said Anton Ward, 31, was shot by three San Jose policemen Saturday night in his backyard when he refused to drop a sawed-off shotgun. The officers fired from an adjoining complex where they were investigating reports of drug trafficking.

Ward had been a policeman in Glastonbury, Conn., for 18 months and resigned in December, 1977. In August, 1978, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob a Connecticut bank, records showed. He served a federal prison term for that offense.

A friend of Ward, Colin Cosey, 25, was wounded in the shooting.

The district attorney's office took over investigation of the shooting. Standard procedure requires placing officers on administrative leave during investigations of such incidents, a police spokesman said. The officers involved are Rich Vasquez, Jim Rodriguez and Humberto Renteria.

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