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Deputies Fatally Shoot Man They Thought Had Gun

March 23, 1997| From a Times Staff Writer

Thinking that a man was pointing a gun at them, two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies fatally shot him--only to learn he was carrying a cash box, a department spokeswoman said Saturday.

The man was identified as Gregory Franklin Brandon, 34, of Lynwood. The spokeswoman said he had been carrying a plastic box "usually left on restaurant [counters] to collect money for charity." Officials believe he had stolen it.

The unidentified deputies have been assigned desk duty while internal affairs deputies investigate the shooting, the spokeswoman said. She gave this account of the incident: The deputies spotted Brandon running through a strip mall on Imperial Highway Friday night with something under his jacket. They ordered him to raise his hands, but he raised only one, keeping the other beneath his jacket. He then lifted that hand, and the deputies, believing he was pointing a gun, fired several shots. Brandon ran, then turned toward them, still holding the object. The deputies continued firing until he raised his hands, dropped the box and fell.

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