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Orange County

Gunman Killed by Own Weapon

Crime: Wounded robbery victim was wrestling for the gun when it went off, striking the robber.

April 12, 2002|CHRISTINE HANLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A gunman who allegedly broke into a dental laboratory early Thursday in an attempt to steal money and gold fillings was shot and killed with his own weapon during a scuffle with an employee who was working late.

Hector Garcia Laureles, 41, of Anaheim was pronounced dead from a bullet wound to the head shortly after the break-in at Analia's Dental Lab on Ball Road in an unincorporated area within Anaheim, according to Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

The identity of the worker, possibly the owner of the lab, who struggled with Garcia Laureles was not released. The worker was shot in the leg during the confrontation and was being treated at a hospital.

Garcia Laureles, who has a long criminal record of drug and robbery charges, entered the lab through an open door shortly before 1 a.m., demanding money and dental gold, Amormino said.

Garcia Laureles pulled out a .38-caliber pistol and shot the worker in the leg, then fired two more shots that missed, Amormino said. During the struggle, a female worker called 911, screaming about the gunman.

The gun went off a fourth time as the two wrestled. "They were fighting for control of the weapon and the weapon went off," Amormino said.

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