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Man With Knife Is Killed by 2 Officers

Riverside officials say suspect was shot when he refused orders to drop the weapon after emerging from a parked car. Inquiry is underway.

May 28, 2003|Lance Pugmire | Times Staff Writer

Two Riverside police officers Tuesday shot and killed a man who allegedly emerged from a parked car holding a knife and refused police commands to drop it, authorities said.

The officers were responding to a 1:06 p.m. call from a resident who reported a suspicious man sitting in a parked car near the intersection of Marguerita Avenue and Esperanza Street in the Casa Blanca neighborhood.

After officers made contact with the man, he emerged with the knife, said Riverside police spokesman Felix Medina. The man, whose identity was not released, was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Residents of Casa Blanca said the man had parked his car in the area during the weekend and had been wandering through the neighborhood.

"Every time I walked by that car, [the suspect] was sleeping in it," said Eric Lozano, 17.

Residents nearby said two bullets struck the front of their house during the shooting and criticized the two officers, saying they "overdid it."

"A knife is not going to fire bullets at you.... They should've restrained him in another way," said Theresa Halcon, who lives in the home.

"Just imagine if someone in my home had been injured in this shoot-up. [Police] need to realize there are people in houses here, and that any of us can get hit."

The shooting remained under investigation Tuesday evening, and department officials were trying to determine if the bullet holes in Halcon's home were made by the officers' guns, Medina said.

"We have yet to determine what verbal commands were given to the suspect or what threatening manner he exhibited when he exited the vehicle," Medina said.

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