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Coroner Rules Shooting Death of Glendale Gunman Was a Suicide

June 04, 2003|Andrew Blankstein | Times Staff Writer

The man who police said fired 200 rounds of ammunition and closed a freeway committed suicide before police stormed his Glendale apartment, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Tuesday.

Jorge Beeton, 47, a former security guard, died Thursday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the left side of his head, according to an autopsy report completed Saturday. Medical examiners said he also sustained a "star-shaped" gunshot wound to the top of the right hand.

"The coroner has ruled the death a suicide," said Craig Harvey, chief of operations for the coroner's office.

In their report, investigators said that Beeton had a makeshift bandage wrapped around his hand when his body was found.

Coroner's officials said Beeton was discovered holding a Smith and Wesson revolver containing five rounds in the cylinder. One spent shell casing was found nearby.

Beeton began firing shots from his apartment overlooking the Golden State Freeway Thursday morning, closing the 5 for more than four hours and forcing nearby residents to flee to safety.

The shots from the apartment, which began about 11 a.m., continued sporadically for more than 45 minutes. Glendale police returned fire and later launched 12 tear-gas projectiles into the apartment.

Glendale police are still investigating Beeton's motive.

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