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Orange County

Woman Shot After Firing at Deputies

Lake Forest authorities say the resident called 911 to report shots, apparently her own.

May 07, 2003|Stanley Allison | Times Staff Writer

Orange County sheriff's deputies late Monday shot and wounded a woman who had fired at them at her Lake Forest home, authorities said.

Kara Knutson, 32, was shot once in the hip Monday night after she refused orders to drop her handgun and instead shot at the deputies. The bullet struck the wall behind one of the deputies, and he fired one shot in return, said Lt. Mike James, chief of police services in Lake Forest.

James said that Knutson apparently called 911 and reported shots were being fired in the home. The call was received at 11:02 p.m. A department spokesman said shots could be heard in the background but it was apparently Knutson doing the shooting.

Deputies found Knutson standing with a gun on the staircase of the two-story home. She pointed the weapon at the deputies, who ordered her to drop it, James said.

When she raised the gun again and fired, he said, one of the deputies fired back. It was unclear if the deputy was aiming at her hip, but a spokesman said she was "very lucky" that she suffered a relatively minor wound.

Knutson was taken to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo, where she was listed in stable condition. She will be moved today to a jail ward at Western Medical Center-Anaheim.

She has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and shooting in an inhabited dwelling with gross negligence, James said.

The incident is the fourth officer-involved shooting in Lake Forest since 1993.

On Christmas Day in 1993, Deputy Darryn L. Robins was fatally shot by his partner, Brian Scanlan, during an informal training exercise behind a movie theater.

A grand jury rejected calls from prosecutors to indict Scanlan.

In June 1999, Deputy Brad Riches was shot 30 times by an unemployed laborer with an assault rifle.

Riches, on patrol, had pulled into a convenience store parking lot as Maurice Steskal was leaving, carrying the rifle. He shot Riches as he sat in his patrol car.

And in March 2002, Sgt. Kurt Vasentine was shot in the face at point-blank range while checking out a suspicious car in an alley at the Lake Forest Market Place.

Vasentine was able to shoot his assailant, who was arrested when he sought treatment for a leg wound at a Riverside hospital.

Councilwoman Marcia Rudolph said her city is no more prone to officer-involved shootings than any other.

"Let's face it, being a deputy is a risky job, and it isn't the location necessarily," she said. "It's the situation that they have to deal with."

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