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Deputy Kills Fugitive After Escape Attempt

January 09, 2006|From Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — A fugitive was shot and killed by a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy after a desperate escape attempt in which he tried to commandeer a school bus and a patrol car, authorities said.

The suspect, who was fatally shot Friday, was identified Saturday as Deven Lepierro, 24, of North Highlands, Calif.

Records show he had an extensive criminal record -- including auto theft, burglary, grand theft and assault with a deadly weapon -- in Sacramento County dating to 1999.

Lepierro's run-in with authorities began Friday when he was detained by security guards at a Wal-Mart store for allegedly trying to steal electronic equipment and other goods.

Lepierro allegedly attacked the guards while they were preparing paperwork and bit one of their fingers hard enough to draw blood, said Sheriff's Sgt. R.L. Davis.

After arresting Lepierro, deputies learned that the suspect was wanted on two felony warrants, police said.

About eight minutes into a drive to the jail, Lepierro apparently used his cuffed hands to free his legs, smashed a passenger window and escaped, police said.

Authorities said Lepierro tried to carjack at least six vehicles before trying to board a school bus.

The driver kept him out by holding the door closed while students inside watched in disbelief, police said.

Lepierro was shot with a Taser stun gun, but it had no effect, police said.

He then ran to a nearby sheriff's patrol car, got behind the wheel and tried to drive off, but a pickup truck driver blocked him in. Inside the patrol car was a loaded shotgun, authorities said.

A deputy then opened fire on Lepierro, shooting him in the upper torso, police said.

The officer removed the suspect from the vehicle and administered first aid. Lepierro was pronounced dead at the scene.

The deputy, whose name was withheld, was described as a 15-year veteran and was placed on administrative leave during an investigation into the shooting.

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