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California Briefing / Pasadena

Officers fired 11 times in killing driver

February 25, 2009|Andrew Blankstein

Two police officers who fatally shot a man during a traffic stop fired at him 11 times, officials said Tuesday.

The officers shot Leroy Barnes Jr., 37, of Pasadena after he allegedly pulled a .32-caliber Colt handgun from a backpack and pointed it at them Thursday near Mentone Avenue and Washington Boulevard, Pasadena Police Department officials said.

The department had originally said the shooting took place outside his car but after conducting more interviews and gathering additional evidence, officials determined that the shooting took place inside his car during a struggle over the gun, said Janet Pope-Givens, a department spokeswoman.

Barnes did not fire his weapon.

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California called for an independent investigation into the shooting, saying that shifting accounts provided by police raised "troubling questions about whether the officers involved in the incident purposely provided false information."

According to police, Barnes was an admitted gang member with a criminal history that dated to 1989, Pope-Givens said.

She said he had 13 convictions -- six misdemeanors and seven felonies, including assault, robbery, spousal abuse and discharge of a firearm in public.

In a 1993 incident, Barnes fired at police officers in a park in broad daylight, Pope-Givens said. He was convicted and spent seven years in state prison for that offense.

He was on active parole at the time of last week's shooting, having been released in April after serving four years behind bars for another conviction.

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