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Man Slain in Confrontation With Police Is Identified

August 26, 1995

Authorities on Friday released the identity of a Leimert Park man who was shot to death by a Los Angeles police officer after he allegedly attacked the officer's partner with a butcher knife.

James Cherry, 36, died at the scene of the confrontation Thursday evening in the 1400 block of West 45th Street, police said. Officer Jay Chambers, 46, was treated at a hospital for slash wounds to his forehead, abdomen and the palm of his left hand. He was later released.

According to a police statement, Chambers and his partner, Officer Steven Alva, 37, responded to a domestic violence call about 5 p.m. and found Cherry sitting on the porch. Cherry allegedly challenged the officers to a fight and then attempted to flee. The officers chased him, quickly catching up with Cherry, police said. The three men struggled and fell to the ground.

Cherry ran inside a nearby house, followed by the officers, according to police.

"He ran into the kitchen and armed himself with a butcher knife," the police statement said. "He then charged Officer Chambers with the knife raised above his head.

"Officer Alva, in fear that Chambers' life was in danger, fired several rounds at the suspect . . . the suspect, appearing to be unaffected by the rounds, continued to charge Officer Chambers."

Cherry allegedly forced Chambers to the floor and began to slash at him with the knife, inflicting about eight inch-deep cuts, the statement said. Alva fired two more shots, killing Cherry.

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