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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

LOS ANGELES COUNTY : Deputy Shot by Man on Skateboard Has Surgery

December 13, 1994

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy shot in the head by a skateboarder who later committed suicide underwent surgery Monday to clean a head wound, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Steven Belanger, 29, was shot in the head and foot Saturday after stopping a car that contained the suspect in an assault incident, police said.

Katherine Koetters, a spokeswoman for Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina, said Belanger was operated on to remove bone fragments from his head. She could not say whether doctors also attempted to remove the bullet lodged in his head.

Belanger had stopped a car in Rowland Heights containing Gregory D. Powell, 18, and a teen-age girl, authorities said. The officer recognized Powell as a suspect in an incident involving an assault with a deadly weapon.

After handcuffing Powell and placing him in the patrol car, Belanger was questioning the girl when a friend of Powell's, 20-year-old Matthew Hagemann, cruised up on his skateboard and shot the officer, authorities said. Hagemann later fatally shot himself in the head.

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