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Officer Shoots Anaheim Man Wielding Machete

August 11, 1991|DAVID REYES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — A police officer shot and critically wounded a man armed with a machete who ignored the officer's warnings and refused to drop his weapon as he advanced toward her, Anaheim police said.

Angel Luis Denza, 41, of Anaheim was shot three times by an unidentified Anaheim police officer after Denza advanced toward her and said, "Go ahead and shoot me," said Lt. Vincent Howard.

Denza was seen by witnesses smashing car windows about 8 p.m. and angrily searching for his wife and child in an apartment complex in the 900 block of Blue Jay Lane, Howard said.

The suspect was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange where he was in critical condition, police said.

According to police, the officer drove up as the suspect waved a machete over his head. The officer had been called to the neighborhood about a disturbance involving a man wielding a knife and breaking car windows.

When the officer got out of her patrol car, she ordered the suspect to stop and drop the machete, Howard said.

Instead, the suspect came toward her, waving the large knife above his head, Howard said.

"He comes towards her and he's got a machete over his head. She tells him several times that she will shoot, but he advances. He says, 'Go ahead and shoot me,' and he quickens his pace towards her," Howard said.

The officer then fired her 9-millimeter pistol and struck the suspect with all three bullets, Howard said.

"She (the officer) had no choice but to shoot him," Howard said.

Before the shooting, Denza, who was described by witnesses as "enraged," was observed going door to door in the complex searching for his wife and his child.

A tenant who opened his door was allegedly struck on the side of the head by Denza, Howard said.

The tenant, Randolph Eugene Woodman, 37, received a 6-inch gash on the side of his head and was taken to UCI Medical Center for treatment, Howard said.

Howard said the shooting was witnessed by several people in the neighborhood. It was not immediately clear what motivated the man's actions, Howard said.

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