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Fatality Is ID'd as Drug User

Orange County

Woman killed by Fountain Valley officer was sought on no-bail warrants, police say.

March 30, 2004|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

A woman who was shot and killed by a Fountain Valley police officer was identified Monday as a longtime drug user who led police on a chase after being spotted at a house that had been staked out by detectives.

Dorothy Lee Lugo, 41, of Santa Ana was pronounced dead at UCI Medical Center in Orange from multiple gunshot wounds after she led police on a chase into Santa Ana late Friday, officials said.

Lugo was shot after she crashed her Volkswagen sedan at the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Warner Avenue and had climbed out of her car, police said.

Fountain Valley police have been tight-lipped about the shooting, which is being investigated by the district attorney's office, a standard procedure in police-involved shootings.

The incident began shortly before 7 p.m. Friday when police reported seeing Lugo leave a Fountain Valley home that was under surveillance in an undercover drug investigation.

Lugo sped away when officers tried to stop her, said Sgt. Kevin Thomas, a spokesman for the Fountain Valley Police Department. Thomas said the woman "committed a felony assault on the officer with her vehicle" but gave no details.

Lugo, who was wanted on two no-bail drug warrants, led police on a brief chase at speeds exceeding 70 mph through Fountain Valley and Santa Ana, police said. She drove on sidewalks and at one point nearly struck a group of pedestrians, Thomas said.

Finally, while driving on the wrong side of the street, she crashed into a car. After she got out of her car, a confrontation ensued and the woman was shot by an officer, Thomas said.

"I'm not sure why he fired, but I'm sure there was something that prompted him to fire," Thomas said.

He declined to state how many times she was shot or whether she had a weapon. He said police found a methamphetamine pipe and a small amount of white crystallized powder tucked in her clothes. It has not been determined whether she was under the influence of drugs.

The officer, whose name was not released, is a veteran of the department and has been placed on routine administrative leave, Thomas said.

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