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Retired deputy fatally shoots purse-snatching supect in La Habra

October 12, 2009 |  7:58 pm

A retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man as he allegedly tried to steal a woman's purse in La Habra this evening, authorities said.

La Habra police received a call about 5 p.m. from a woman who said her purse had been snatched in the 1300 block of Beach Boulevard. Police then received a second call from the retired deputy, who said he was in his car chasing the suspects, who were fleeing in their vehicle, said Cindy Knapp, a spokeswoman for the La Habra Police Department.

The man opened fire on the alleged purse snatcher in the 700 block of West Imperial Highway, Knapp said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are still looking for the driver of the vehicle, a woman who took off running along Imperial Highway. She was described as a Latina, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 130 pounds with red hair tied in a ponytail. She was wearing a black tank top with black stretch pants and had a mole or tattoo under her right eye, police said.

-- Robert J. Lopez