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Sheriff Baca calls for expedited probe of deputy shooting amid community concerns [Updated]

September 15, 2009 |  6:18 pm

Sheriff Lee Baca this afternoon called for an expedited investigation 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 in the area of 120th Street and Budlong Avenue on Monday night in search of two suspects involved in a robbery, said Deputy Jeff Cannon of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

About 10 p.m., deputies saw two men who matched the description of the suspects in the 1200 block of Poindexter Street and attempted 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; deputies thought he was reaching for a weapon and fired several rounds, Cannon said.

The man was hit in the upper body and was taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities would not say if a weapon was recovered.

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

[Updated: Deputies say he moved his hands to his waistband causing fear he was reaching for a gun. The shooting occurred as deputies looked for robbery suspects. The other people detained at the time of shooting have not been arrested for any crime, according to sources.]

-- Richard Winton and Ruben Vives


The Homicide Report: Chronicling L.A. County homicide victims.