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Shaun McCoy, 22

July 20, 2007 | 12:40 pm

Shaun McCoy, 22, was one of two young black men shot and killed in a confrontation with Torrance police officers at 2:38 p.m. Saturday, July 14, in the 2600 block of 231st Street. Also killed was Charlie Wilson, 20, below.

According to a news release issued by Torrance Police Lt. Rod Irvine, the incident began with a report of a possible burglary. Officers were called to the 2600 block of 231st Street, where a resident had reported seeing men go into a neighbor's house, then jump the fence to the backyard. There had been similar burglaries in the area recently, the release said.

When officers arrived, other neighbors repeated that the suspects were in the backyard and that a red Chevrolet Cavalier connected to the crime had just left. Officers stopped the Cavalier at Elm Avenue and 232nd Street and arrested the driver, Erin Jamahl Madden, 19, of Harbor City.

Other officers surrounded the block, where the remaining suspects were believed to be hiding. With the help of a Long Beach police helicopter, and dogs from the Torrance and Manhattan Beach police departments, they searched the area. They found the suspects in a storage shed.

The release offered no details of what happened next, saying only that "an officer-involved shooting occurred when they were confronted." Both men suffered gunshot wounds and died at the scene. Torrance police have not released the identities of the officers involved.

Times story

See  "Why does the Homicide Report list killings by police?"

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Comments (23)

This is why Torrance is much safer than Compton. In Torrance, when the police defend the citizens from thugs, the activists don't come out of the woodwork crying "police brutality". So the people of Compton are whining about the police while they dodge bullets fired by gang members, and the people of Torrance are safe and sound. You get what you put in, people.

Sound fishy already, but as in the case of Officer Webb when he shot that cooperating man and got caught on video and lied in his report, I'm sure these officers will find a way to wiggle out of this one. Look how long it is taking for the police to conduct their "investigation" and release more "details" , sounds like everyone is just getting together to get their story straight. Who knows maybethis situation may be one where the officers were justified in shooting but i doubt it

Wow Bob lets hope none of your family ever gets killed by police ...then lets see your reaction

This really needs to be investigated by the feds, looking on the sheriffs web site the driver has a million dollar bail. This means they are charging him with MURDER. That would be 3 black young lives lost. With all the weapons and technologies available to police to apprehend suspects, TPD looks at the very least negligent for GUNNING down unarmed suspects. Even without the benefit of camara footage, it looks pretty clear to me. I see history repeating but DEADLIER.

It could not have been said any better than Bob's comment. He is right on. The Torrance Police Dept have a reputation that most crooks know about. You don't fool around in Torrance. Torrance is a safe city and the police and city don't bown down to crooks and police-brutality nonsense. That's why the cost of living is so high there.

Hmmm...let's see where were these guys from? Torrance? I don't think so.

When you aren't breaking in to peoples houses then maybe you won't have to worry about getting taken out by the Torrance PD.

First question: were the men armed? If n ot, how can deadly force be justified? What was the race of the shooter? The victims were Black, yes? Seems to me like a Torrance cop murdered some Black you twho may or may not have been involved in crime. Because you are a suspected criminal does not mean you should be murdered. No. No way.


You are kidding right? You actually rationalize the killing of two unarmed house burglars by saying "police defend the citizens from thugs". Wow, I don't think I would want to live in Torrance if that is how the residents think.

Compton, CA

these guys were in a small shed in a backyard, small meaning 4X4 at most. one allegedly called family and told them he intended to surrender. but lookin at the shots of the shed, there were plenty of tools in the shed that can be placed in these guys hands (IRAQ style). it would be interesting to see what positions the bodies were in, of course the cops can always move them. but if a guy is crouching in a shed and shot, even with picks and axes around him, i dont think he deserves to be shot. if they came out the shed roaring a chainsaw, well thats a different story. in the end i dont think any of this matters, history is told by the victor not the vanquished. cops will make stuff up left and right, i know plenty of corrupt cops, and they always get off, even when cameras are rolling. thank the spirits i aint a home burglar and thank the heavens i dont live in torrance. i feel kinda bad for the getaway guy. why would they be charged with murder? i dont quite understand this. i think now that two of his homies are dead, and with an accomplice/accesory sentence of a couple years that will be enough of a detterent. he was just a driver, we dont know the circumstances, but even if he did know what was happening it seems rather harsh to charge him with murder, especially if he wasnt the one shooting.

Chris and Bob it's obvious you are rich and spoon fed from birth and never been into a ghetto ...but no matter where you live you shouldnt be treated like this. Any unarmed KID like these guys were do not deserve to get i said before let me see your comments after someone from your family who is unarmed gets killed by police, let me hear you applaud them and say "thats what you get when you come into our town"....i doubt you ll say that.

Ruben, if these two kids were out burglarizing neighborhoods, it was only a matter of time before they started using deadly force. Would you feel better about their deaths if they had shed blood first? Would that make it ok for officers to do their jobs? Instead of just two dead, would you prefer that these two thugs had killed some innocent family in the middle of a burglary? And no, I am not rich nor was I "spoon fed" as you so eloquently put it. I am a latina and I have lived in low-income neighborhoods. When these two kids decided to go out and commit crimes rather than earn a decent living, they knew that death was a reasonable outcome of their decision. And if one of my family members got killed by a police officer during an attempted robbery, I would still feel the same way. Don't kid yourself, life is what you make of it. Unfortunately some people make bad decisions and put themselves in these situations & in the end they reap the consequences of their actions.

Why is it that we call the cops when we are in trouble but have a hard time backing them up when they do there job? What if it was your house these thugs were breaking into? What if you're kids were asleep in their rooms when these guys decide to come crawl in through the window? There is no excuse for this, get a job people. Why is it that these men did not come out even after there names were called by loud speakers? They barracaded themseles in a shed, and held sharp objects aggressively...these cops want t go home to. They have families. Who the hell wants to get stabbedwith a rusty tool shed object and see if they can survive to tell about it.

come on, you know the cops! no where to be found at the seen of a shooting ware two people get killed at the same time. but they got there fast because some one say they saw them in some one else backyard, it probably was bob that say he saw them, any ways they shouldn't have killed them like that. and why charge the driver with murder he didn't kill know one. I'm in phoenix AZ. yesterday there was a high speed chase on the news. I'm sure you all heard about it, anyways the police could not catch this guy, they had every chance to but could not stop him. at the same time,three news helicopters flying around above the chase, know body knows what really went wrong up there but the one's in the hellacopters, but they ended up running into each other killing four people, two in each helicopter. they letter cough the suspect, and said they where charging this kid with four counts of murder. I'm sorry for the lose of the guys in the helicopter but that was not the fault of the suspect, he was on the ground, they were doing there job. it could have happened at any time. this guy wasn't a killer. they got plenty of them out here to. what I'm saying is some of the sh*t that's done is unnecessary, when you have far more bigger fish to Frye, like finding out who is out there killing all these innocent people, than killing two young men in a shed that's not harming you. i don't know they got it twisted out there. Ruben, there's people like Chris and bob out here. you run into them all day. until something happen to some one close to them, they will never know.

I went to school with 2 of the 3 victims and played football this pas year with erin madden and he's not the type of person to cause problems. He had a full scholarship to a.s.u lined up in december. He would never do anything like that


So your gonna justify this MURDER on could've would've should've....wake up i said before I defend cops and have family members who are cops but I also know alot of people who have no business being a cop. When you shoot an unarmed KID not even a man who is crouched down hiding from you that is murder no matter how you put it. When you beat a handcuffed man to death when he's surrounded by 9 cops thats murder no matter how you say it.

Look I respect cops and their jobs however that badge doesnt give them the right to take lives. You say oh these kids could've ended up killers and rapist and do you know they couldnt have ended up productive citizens ? Who are you to judge people from there childhood and determine what the outcome of the rest of there life is? My father was a hard core gang banger and drug abuser as a kid and young adult, but then he got his life together went to the Army proudly served went to school got his masters and became a drug counselor and helped hundreds of drug addicts get there lives together so they are not breaking into YOUR house and creeping in YOUR window, so dont you dare pass judgement on these kids and say "hey they wouldve got worse and became killers" because you dont know that !

I dont know these kids I've never met them and I don't know the cops, but what I do know are the facts, they were unarmed there were dozens of cops around and they were scared and hiding in a shed. Yes they were burglars or "thugs" but that doesnt give them the right to die.

And you say you grew up in the "hoods" and in low income areas so Im sure you knew some thugs and hoodlums of your own growing up, right ? Im sure you had friends who did stupid things like vandalism and drugs but did that give them the right to die? I mean C'mon didnt you ever do anything dumb as a kid ? Did you deserve to die for that ? What is the world coming to when you say hey "burglars deserve to die"? If you really feel that way why dont you move to Iraq or Afghanastan, I know our troops can use a hand.

I also went to school and played football with 2 of the 3 victims in the incident, i also agree with Tim, erin is not the type of guy that would start any trouble, much less commit a violent crime against any one, i understand his dicision was wrong and he may have repercuations comming his way also but for the death of two unarmed young men by exicted trigger happy police is something that has to seen further than, Oh well atleast my house is safe screw what his mother, family and freinds are going threw. I realize that police are trianed to empty thier clip of their gun once in a shoot out or when the necessary threat is posed. Maybe they should start being trained on how to secure a situation without killing some one that doesnt need to be and teaching them that thier badge is pin of limited authority and sworn protection the citizen not a badge with rights to kill and abuse power

Problem solved. Just because someone has a scholarship for sports doesn't make them a good person. Potential doesn't mean anything. Your judged by your actions today. All you people crying about dead criminals need your heads examined.

Ruben, I'm afraid you're missing the point. This is about personal choice and the consequences of the choices we make.

Assuming the police account is accurate, then we can assume that those burglars made the choice to attempt to rob the place. We can also assume that they thought the consequences of such a decision would not be negative. Since they were legal adults, we cannot blame this error in judgment on anyone else.

Problem is, they happened to learn first hand that the consequences were not as they had predicted. It is very difficult for me to be sympathetic when another person finds themselves in a situation that could have been prevented by making a different personal choice. I'll prefer to reserve my sympathy for those who are victims of circumstances beyond their control.

It seems alot of the responses identify the criminals shot by Police as "victims". They were not the victims they were the suspects. The victim is the person who owns the house they broke into to steal.

The suspects in this case were dummies.


WOW, I don't believe the energy that is being spent on defending and/or defaming the actions of the police Department. Your position about this is just that your position. I was under the impression that this blog was for the family and loved of the deceased. If so, remember that family members read these blogs to find strength, understanding and comfort to deal with their loss. So these young men are no longer with their families and friends and it's a loss for them. My deepest condolesence and prayers are extended to family and friends of these two young men.

What a disgrace for the police to KILL an UNARMED KID who is a suspect. This is murder and the police should be prosecuted for murder. Also penalize the department for millions of dollars so they don't encourage this behaiviour anymore.

Unlike other cities in Southern California and elsewhere, the citizens of Torrance support their police force 100%. This support allows our police force to do their job without looking over their shoulder and second guessing themselves.

Home invasion robberies are extremely unpredictable - not unlike domestic violence calls. Homeowners are often brutalized or murdered, even when the perp may have entered the home just to steal a few items.

It's pretty obvious to me when police ask you to exit a building, to drop any weapons you may be holding, no matter how small, the smart thing to do is to comply.

It's very simple to avoid getting shot by police. Don't jack a car, burglarize homes, join a gang, rob a store, or beat your wife and/or kids, or become a crack or meth addict. Simple.

I feel terrible that two people lost their lives today. It is a shame and shouldn't have happened. But it is not the officers fault! Come on people...two men with sharp tools or anything of the sort can pose a huge danger to an officers life. Why should a police officer be anything less than careful when they deal with scum everyday? Gang members, child abusers, robbers, drunks, drug addicts, etc. Why should a police officer with a wife and 2 kids risk his life even more just because people, who weren't even there, are saying that these weapons aren't a threat. They are a threat. And any day of the week would I rather have a burglar die than a police officer.

Next time you need to call 911 remember that. I'm sure there are corrupt cops, like any profession, but they uphold the law. And if people want to break into houses, join gangs and then run from the cops and then use weapons against them.... then please all officers be careful. Don't put your life on the line any further for a criminal who will go to jail and most likely commit another crime at a later time.

Again, I am sorry for the men that lost their lives. It is a terrible, terrible incident.

Sue .... the difference between the crime free cities and the war zone Los Angeles has become is simple.

In one city, the people (the tax payers) support the police and have no sympathy for criminals and what happens to them.

In the other, the police are so concerned about offending someone in the community, they react to crimes rather than prevent it in the first place.

How much you want to bet that Torrance has a reputation amongst criminals as a place you don't want to get into a confrontation with police?

And Sue.... since the DOJ (and various civil rights groups who go after the police) has refused to prosecute the officers, its 100% certain they followed policy and the fault of the deaths of the criminals was upon those individuals.


About the Reporters
The Homicide Report is compiled using information from the Los Angeles County coroner's office, local law enforcement agencies and the Los Angeles Times. It is written by Times staff writers.

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