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/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Police Say Officer Killed Suspect in Self-Defense

May 08, 1999

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Police Department officer acted in self-defense when he shot a 21-year-old man to death Thursday after the man pointed a pistol at him, police said Friday.

It was the second fatal shooting by an LAPD officer this year, police said. Eleven suspects were killed by police in 1998, said Officer Jason Lee, a police spokesman.

The name of the victim was withheld pending confirmation of his identity, said a spokeswoman for the coroner's office.

Officer Christopher Wren shot the man once about 6:05 p.m. during a confrontation at an apartment in the 1100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, police said.

Wren, 25, is a four-year veteran of the force. He is assigned to an anti-gang unit in the LAPD's Southwest Division. As is standard in officer-involved shootings, authorities said, homicide detectives are investigating.

According to police, Wren and his partner, Lasalle Culpepper, 30, also a four-year veteran, were traveling on King Boulevard in an unmarked police vehicle when the incident began. The officers saw four men, one armed with a handgun, standing in front of the apartment building, police said.

The officers followed two of the suspects, including the armed man, into the apartment building. Police said the suspect removed a pistol from his waistband and pointed it at the officers.

"Officer Wren, in fear for his life, fired one round from his service pistol, striking the suspect once in the upper body," a police statement said.

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