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3 Suspects Pick Wrong Target; 2 Are Shot : Crime: Off-duty officer opens fire on armed men. The would-be robbers flee but are later arrested.

May 20, 1991|RONALD L. SOBLE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Three men picked the wrong guy to rob at a telephone booth in Windsor Hills. The victim turned out to be an off-duty police officer who whipped out his service gun and engaged his three adversaries in a shootout.

The would-be robbers lost.

The officer, Kevin Webb, 30, of the Rampart Division, was making a call at about 1 a.m. Sunday in the 4000 block of West Slauson Avenue in Windsor Hills, an unincorporated area between southwest Los Angeles and Inglewood, when the men approached him. Revolvers drawn, they demanded Webb's wallet, car keys and his leather coat, according to sheriff's spokesman Roger Hom.

As Webb was removing the coat, he took a 9-millimeter handgun from his waist and opened fire. The three men returned the fire as they retreated. Webb, not hit, ran into a nearby convenience store and called for help. Law enforcement teams from several jurisdictions converged on the scene, including a special weapons team and a police K-9 unit.

A short time later, Kenneth Reese, 22, was arrested nearby and taken to County-USC Medical Center, where he was treated for several bullet wounds, Hom said. He was listed late Sunday in good condition.

About four hours after the incident, Karl Hicks, 28, and Dennis Kelly, 30, were arrested in Windsor Hills. Kelly, wounded in the ankle, was taken to the county medical center where he was in good condition, Hom said. Hicks, not wounded, was transported to the sheriff's station at Marina del Rey, Hom said.

All three were booked on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery and held without bail.

Webb's wallet and car keys were recovered around the corner from the shootout.

In an unrelated incident, a sheriff's deputy from the Marina del Rey station was knocked unconscious late Friday as he tried to question five men walking on a bicycle path in Admiralty Park at 11 p.m. The park is closed at sundown.

Before leaving his patrol car, the deputy called for backup, then confronted the five. According to Hom, someone struck the deputy from behind, knocking him out for about 10 minutes. "When he awoke, they were gone," Hom said.

Help arrived within two minutes, Hom said, but the assailants had left. Nothing--including the revolver--was taken from the deputy, Hom said. The name of the 28-year-old deputy was not released. He was treated and released at Santa Monica Emergency Medical Center.

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