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Separate Police Shootings Kill 1 Man, Wound 2

Robbery suspects are shot in Marina del Rey, and a hostage-taker dies at a Palmdale diner.

June 30, 2005|Richard Winton | Times Staff Writer

Two bank robbery suspects were shot and wounded by police at an upscale Marina del Rey shopping plaza Wednesday morning, while in Palmdale, sheriff's deputies killed a man holding a woman hostage in a diner.

Santa Monica police shot the two robbery suspects on the second floor of the Marina Market Place, where they had fled after a heist at Santa Monica's First Federal Bank.

Running into the mall after ditching their SUV in the parking garage, the suspects made "furtive" movements" and ignored officers' commands, said Santa Monica Police Lt. Alex Padilla.

Padilla said the department would not disclose whether weapons were recovered from the suspects, but witnesses told police that they "were armed with a black handgun" at the bank.

A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said guns were not found on the suspects, but a search of their vehicle and the parking area was continuing.

Earlier in Palmdale, Sheriff's Capt. Ray Peavy said deputies shot and killed a man who took his estranged girlfriend hostage at Crazy Otto's Diner in the 100 block of Palmdale Boulevard.

The man and woman were arguing at a neighboring gas station about 9:30 a.m., when the woman ran into the diner, saying a man with a gun was chasing her, Peavy said. She asked bystanders to call the Sheriff's Department.

Five deputies evacuated 15 customers and the diner staff. They found the man in a booth with his right hand around the woman's neck and his left hand on the trigger of a handgun pointed at his own head, Peavy said. "He refused their commands to put down the gun and instead pointed the gun at the deputies, who fired their weapons," Peavy said.

The man's identity was being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

According to police, the Marina del Rey incident began about 10:30 a.m. when two men robbed First Federal in the 2700 block of Main Street and fled in a black SUV.

Santa Monica police spotted the SUV and pursued it through Venice into Marina del Rey. The two vehicles drove into the parking structure of the shopping plaza through the Maxella Avenue entrance and came to a halt on the second floor. The two suspects ran into the plaza, with officers giving chase on foot, authorities said.

Witnesses reported hearing at least five gunshots. Charles Bolan, an employee at the Loews Cinemas near the shooting scene, said he heard the police sirens, a car turning and then gunfire. When he looked out, he saw a man on the floor soaked in blood.

Several bullet holes pierced the walkway leading from the second story of the parking structure to the plaza. The cellphone, jeans and bloody white shirt of one suspect were discarded, apparently by paramedics, a short distance from the parked SUV. A trail of blood indicated that the second suspect had run farther into the shopping plaza before collapsing.

Police said the suspects were taken to UCLA Medical Center, but they declined to reveal the men's conditions. Police are still trying to confirm their identities. The robbery is being investigated by Santa Monica police and the shooting by both Santa Monica and Los Angeles police because it took place within Los Angeles city limits.

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