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Robbery Suspect Dies in Gun Battle With Inglewood Officer

November 12, 1986

A suspected armed robber was shot and killed Tuesday in an exchange of gunshots with an Inglewood reserve police lieutenant he had attempted to rob, police said. The officer was wounded in the thigh.

Christopher Colson, 32, of Los Angeles died of a gunshot wound to the chest after he and Lt. Roger Garrett, 39, faced each other with drawn handguns, said Inglewood Police Lt. Robert Westlake.

Garrett had withdrawn $20 from an automatic teller machine a block from the police station just before 8 a.m. and returned to his car, when Colson approached with a drawn handgun and demanded the money, Westlake said.

The officer, dressed in civilian clothes, handed over the money, but stepped out of his car and drew his own handgun when Colson demanded his wallet, Westlake added.

"The two men stood face to face in the street, each pointing a gun at each other," said Westlake.

Garrett identified himself as a police officer and demanded that Colson surrender, officers said. When Colson refused, the two men exchanged nearly a dozen shots, Westlake said.

A man believed to be driving a getaway car dropped Colson off at Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital, where he died, Westlake said. Police said Colson had a long arrest record for robbery, burglary and narcotics sales.

Garrett was in stable condition at an undisclosed hospital, the lieutenant said.

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