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UCLA Officer Shoots Man

The transient, who is in critical condition, is wounded in a student lounge after he resists efforts to remove him, authorities say.

October 07, 2003|Richard Winton | Times Staff Writer

A campus police officer shot and wounded a transient late Sunday in a student lounge at UCLA after the man resisted efforts to remove him, officials said Monday.

Willie Davis Frazier Jr., 52, was taken to UCLA Medical Center in critical condition after he was struck in the abdomen by one of two shots fired by the officer about 9:50 p.m., police said.

The officer was on routine foot patrol in Kerckhoff Hall when he came across Frazier, who was suspected of trespassing inside a second-floor student lounge, said Pamela Corante, UCLA's assistant director of media relations.

After the officer confronted Frazier, Corante said, a scuffle ensued. "The officer, in fear of his life, fired two shots, striking the suspect once," she said. UCLA did not identify the officer.

The officer received minor injuries during the confrontation, said the Los Angeles Police Department, which is investigating the case. Frazier allegedly struck the officer several times in the face, detectives said. The officer told investigators he believed that Frazier was trying to gain control of the officer's handgun.

Frazier lives in a downtown Los Angeles hotel. He keeps his belongings in a wheeled duffel bag and a couple of smaller bags.

Corante said the officer was routinely placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the shooting.

Police sources Monday said that although UCLA is mostly free of serious crime, campus police constantly deal with transients. Earlier this year, a transient was found dead in a bushy area on the campus' east side.

Last year, UCLA police investigated 1,494 violent and property crimes, including four rapes and 32 aggravated assaults. Twenty-three people were arrested last year for allegedly trespassing on campus. There also were 263 burglaries, 82 motor vehicle thefts and 1,094 larcenies.

Unwanted visitors at UCLA annually take more than $1 million in items from the campus, law enforcement sources said. Campus police, who are full-time officers, serve much like a small-town police force with authority to arrest and investigate crimes.

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