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Ventura County Deputies Kill Armed Man Following Standoff

October 25, 2003|Gregory W. Griggs | Times Staff Writer

Ventura County sheriff's deputies shot and killed a 43-year-old man Friday morning after a nearly three-hour standoff at a residence north of Ojai.

The standoff began shortly after 9 a.m. when deputies attempted to confront the unidentified man, who neighbors had complained was yelling obscenities and firing a weapon in the neighborhood in the 2200 block of Maricopa Highway.

When deputies arrived, they found the man carrying a rifle. The man shouted at deputies and fired his weapon, though it was unclear whether he was aiming at the officers or just shooting wildly, said sheriff's Sgt. Ron Nelson.

The man then barricaded himself inside a nearby residence, and deputies set up a perimeter, evacuated several homes and called in SWAT officers and a hostage negotiating team.

The highway, also known as California 33, was temporarily closed between North Lomita Avenue and Fairview Road, officials said.

The man refused to cooperate with negotiators and instead continued to argue and yell at officers through a window of the home, Nelson said. The man also fired several shots from inside the residence.

Shortly before noon, the man, who at that time was standing on a balcony outside the residence, was shot by deputies, who then rushed inside the home and subdued him, Nelson said.

The man was taken to Ojai Valley Community Hospital, where he died a short time later, authorities said.

Officials with the Ventura County medical examiner's office would not confirm the man's identity.

The incident is the second fatal shooting involving a Ventura County sheriff's deputy in the last two months.

On Aug. 26, deputies shot and killed John Elijah Rocks, 36, outside his residence in Camarillo after a three-hour standoff.

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