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CALIFORNIA BRIEFING / LOS ANGELES

Killer of sword-wielding man won't face charges

December 04, 2008|Harriet Ryan

A security guard who shot and killed a man wielding samurai swords on the grounds of a Scientology facility in Hollywood will not face criminal charges, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Wednesday.

The decision by prosecutors was in line with the conclusion of Los Angeles police detectives, who determined that the guard, a 64-year-old retired Seal Beach police officer, acted in defense of himself and other guards at the church's Celebrity Centre.

A former Scientologist, Mario Majorski, 48, died from a single gunshot wound in the Nov. 23 incident. Majorski, a Hollywood native who had moved to Oregon several years ago, had driven a rented convertible onto the church grounds and confronted the guards with swords. According to a prosecutor's report, Majorski threatened the guards and said "something about revenge." He dropped one sword and began walking back to his car, but then unsheathed a second sword and said he would kill anyone who tried to arrest him, the report stated. The guard shot him after he made "one last run" with the sword at the guards, according to the report.

Det. Wendi Berndt said security videotape left no doubt that the guard was justified in shooting Majorski.

"The video is so very, very, very vivid," she said. "This man was mentally ill, and it's just a wonder he didn't kill people."

Majorski had made at least a dozen threatening phone calls to Scientology offices in Oregon and California, according to the church. Berndt said detectives interviewed Majorski's relatives and compiled information about recent run-ins with the law, including an incident in which he threatened an Oregon judge and another in which he was accused of threatening a tow truck driver.

-- Harriet Ryan

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