A struggle between a suspected thief and a plainclothes police officer in a Woodland Hills parking lot ended in the suspect's death Wednesday after he smashed a rum bottle over the officer's head and the officer opened fire, Los Angeles police said.
The shooting occurred at 11:30 a.m. in front of an Alpha Beta market in the 6200 block of Topanga Canyon Boulevard when two officers attempted to question four occupants of a faded red Volkswagen. Officers suspected the men of stealing items from stores in the plaza.
The man who was shot was taken to Northridge Hospital, where he died an hour later. His name was not released.
Officer Larry Capra, 31, who fired three times after being struck with the bottle, was treated at the hospital for cuts on his face and head and admitted for observation, authorities said.
The three other men from the Volkswagen ran as the scuffle broke out. Two were later captured nearby and arrested on suspicion of thefts from the stores.