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Police may never know why Willowbrook man shot cop in face

June 28, 2013|By Richard Winton
  • Several law enforcement agencies congregate at 117th Street and Mona Boulevard in Willowbrook after an LAPD officer was shot in an unincorporated neighborhood in South Los Angeles.
Several law enforcement agencies congregate at 117th Street and Mona Boulevard… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Los Angeles police investigators say they may never know why a Willowbrook man with a relatively small criminal record shot an LAPD officer in the face this week.

According to officials, Howard Michael Carl Partee, 33, shot a Los Angeles police officer in the face as the officer entered an attic in the unincorporated area near South Los Angeles on Wednesday evening.

Partee was found dead in the attic after an 11-hour standoff, from wounds that may have been suffered during an exchange of gunfire with police and two probation officers who were conducting a parole and probation search.

The LAPD officer is expected to recover after undergoing surgery. A probation officer suffered minor injuries.

LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes, who oversees the department's Robbery Homicide Bureau, said "there was no rhyme nor reason to the shooting" by Partee and that the reason he opened fire on officers may never be known. Hayes acknowledged that though Partee does have a criminal record, there is nothing to suggest it would motivate him to shoot a police officer.

Since 1999, Partee has been convicted of domestic violence, grand theft and drug possession, court records show. His most recent conviction came in February 2010 for narcotics possession.

Authorities were searching for a woman at the property and believed they had probable cause to enter the home after smelling marijuana. During the search of the home on 117th Street, they came upon Partee in the attic.

Police said Partee shot the LAPD officer, and a county probation officer suffered a graze wound to the leg, said Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers.

Partee's body was finally located after he was not responsive to negotiators, and a SWAT team using an armored vehicle fired tear gas into the attic.


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