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L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca calls for investigation of deputy-involved shooting

He has ordered that the review be completed within 90 days. The incident involves a man who was shot dead in Athens by deputies, who thought he was armed, an official says. No weapon has been found.

September 16, 2009|Richard Winton and Ruben Vives

Sheriff Lee Baca called for an expedited investigation Tuesday into the fatal shooting of a man by L.A. County sheriff's deputies in Athens.

Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said Baca has ordered that the investigation be completed within 90 days. Typically, such probes can take up to a year.

The deputies from the Lennox station were near 120th Street and Budlong Avenue on Monday night in search of two men involved in a robbery, Sheriff's Deputy Jeff Cannon said.

About 10 p.m., deputies saw two men who matched the description of the robbers in the 1200 block of Poindexter Street and tried to speak to them.

"One of the guys took off running and there was a short foot pursuit," Cannon said.

During the chase, the man reached for his waistband, causing deputies to think he was reaching for a weapon, Cannon said. The deputies then fired. The man was hit in the upper body and was taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities have yet to find a weapon at the scene of the shooting.

Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson called for a meeting between Baca and community leaders to discuss the shooting and several others.

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richard.winton@latimes.com

ruben.vives@latimes.com

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