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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO
AND VENTURA COUNTIES

Suspect Kills Self After Interview With Police

July 27, 1999

HUNTINGTON BEACH — A Huntington Beach man believed to be responsible for a crime rampage that included shooting into two apartment buildings killed himself moments after being questioned by police, authorities said Monday.

During a routine patrol about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, a police officer found Mitchell Bruce Koppel sitting in his car in the library parking lot on Talbert Avenue, said Lt. Luis Ochoa. The officer talked briefly with Koppel and walked to his patrol car to report his findings.

As the officer returned to ask a few more questions, Koppel, 37, drew a .357 magnum and shot himself, Ochoa said. The officer was uninjured, he said.

Police believe Koppel, who maintained residences in Long Beach and Huntington Beach, was responsible for a crime rampage that began when he allegedly struck his Long Beach apartment manager with a baseball bat and set two Long Beach apartments on fire early Friday.

Koppel drove to Huntington Beach and shot into a building on Springdale Street about 4:20 a.m. and into a building on Warner Avenue about 4:30 a.m., police said.

The fatality was the latest in a string of unusual shootings that have unnerved Huntington Beach residents.

A Huntington Beach man died Monday at UC Irvine Medical Center after being shot in the head when a bullet tore through a bedroom window. Alberto Mendez Olmedo, 23, was sitting on a bed in an apartment in the 17400 block of Dairyview Circle about 2 a.m. Sunday when he was hit. There are no suspects in the killing, Lt. Chuck Thomas said.

In the latest outbreak of violence--a gang-related shooting that took the life of an 18-year-old man--two other victims were released from UC Irvine Medical Center, police said. The males, ages 28 and 17, were both shot in the leg.

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