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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP / West County | Ventura

Shooting at Hospital Justified, Police Say

October 04, 2000|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

The fatal shooting of a knife-wielding man at a local hospital was legally justified and within the scope of the Ventura Police Department's policy, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday.

Officer Jim Brittle, 37, shot and killed 48-year-old Jonathan Wesley Baker of Ojai on Saturday at Community Memorial Hospital after Baker stabbed three hospital employees and then came at officers with a knife.

The employees suffered minor injuries and were treated and released. Baker, who had a long history of mental illness, died two hours after being shot.

A final report by the Police Department's shooting review board will be completed in two weeks. The district attorney's office is conducting an independent investigation of the incident, said Lt. Carl Handy.

Brittle, a 10-year employee with a total of 15 years experience in law enforcement, will return to work today after having been placed on paid leave, as is department policy in such cases.

Brittle is a member of the department's special enforcement team and SWAT, Handy said. He was working on a gang detail Saturday night when he heard the hospital call and responded, Handy said.

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