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Torrance Officer Cleared in Shooting

August 26, 1995

A Torrance police officer was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot an intoxicated and armed man in his home in December, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office has ruled.

Officer James Barr "was reasonable and justified in shooting [Jose Richardo Campa-Frias]," Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti said in an Aug. 9 letter to Torrance Police Chief Joseph. C. De Ladurantey, despite lingering questions over whether police had identified themselves.

"It is unclear from the facts whether a warning was given to Mr. Frias before Officer Barr fired his weapon," the letter says. "However, when presented with a deadly situation, in which swift action is required, it is not legally necessary to issue a warning."

Early on the morning of Dec. 31, 1994, officers responded to 911 calls reporting gunfire and a possible burglary in progress at the Sara Street home Frias shared with friends, according to the letter. From outside the house, officers spotted what appeared to be a kicked-in side door and a man with a gun standing inside.

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