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Orange County

Garden Grove Police Shoot Suspect in Home-Invasion Case

July 07, 2001|KIMI YOSHINO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Garden Grove police shot a man Friday who brandished a handgun as he exited a car they had been tracking as part of a home-invasion robbery investigation, authorities said.

The department's gang unit staked out two homes and were preparing to serve search warrants when several people at one house left in a red Lexus and a white Honda CR-V.

As the vehicles headed south on Brookhurst Street approaching Chapman Avenue, police stopped both cars. They detained suspects in the Lexus without incident, but when the suspects in the Honda were ordered out, the driver emerged with a handgun, officers said.

"Officers, knowing their background, obviously feared for their safety," said Police Lt. John Woods. "We knew that these people were violent and not afraid to use guns."

Several officers fired their weapons, and the man was struck several times. He was taken to Western Medical Center-Santa Ana.

Police said the home-invasion robbery occurred just before noon on June 7, when three armed men tried to break into a house on Stern Avenue. When the 61-year-old homeowner confronted them, they shot him and fled. The man's wife and three grandchildren, who were home at the time, escaped through another door and called for help. The man's wounds were not life-threatening, police said.

For several hours Friday, police blocked the stretch of Brookhurst Street where the officer-involved shooting occurred.

Philip Lee, manager of the nearby D.K.'s Donuts, said, "I just heard the gunshots--about six shots.

"When I went out, I saw the policeman pointing the gun at the people in the car."

Two other people in the Honda were not injured.

The officers, whose names were not released, were placed on routine administrative leave.

The Orange County district attorney's office shooting team will assist with the investigation.

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