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Police kill one man and wound another after alleged burglary attempt

Santa Ana police have killed an alleged burglar and wounded another after a pursuit early this morning, police said.

Officers got a call about a burglary in progress shortly before 2 a.m. today in the 2000 block of South Susan Street, a large commercial area, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.

Ois2 Bertagna said officers confronted two men and shot them. He did not have specific details of what led to the shooting.

The wounded men then got into an older green sport utility vehicle and fled, pursued by police for about four to five blocks, but the car spun out of control at the intersection of West Edinger Avenue and South Fairview Street.

Bertagna said one man died and the other remained hospitalized. His condition was not immediately known. The identities of the men have not been released.

No officers were hurt in the incident.

The shooting is under investigation by Santa Ana Police detectives and a unit of the Orange County district attorney's office.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photos: Santa Ana police officers continue their investigation at the intersection of Fairview Street and Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana, where an officer-involved shooting resulted in the death of one suspect and the wounding of another.  Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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Comments () | Archives (11)

Lesson learned. Do not steal and rob. Good job police!

How come police can defend property with lethal force but citizens can't? It's only fair that if police can shoot burglars, then citizens should be able to defend their property without fear of going to prison.

I agree Paul R.

Paul R., the police cannot use lethal force to defend property. The burglars obviously confronted them with some type of weapon and that is why they were shot. The article just doesn't give enough details yet.

Only in Texas, I believe you can use deadly force to protect property.

The officers were probably defending themselves and not property.

Paul R. As far as I know you can legally defend yourself with lethal force. I hear stories all the time about it.

Hey Paul, we don't know the full story. Police can't shoot a burglar unless their lives are endangered so maybe the burglar had a gun or tried to run over the police!

Paul R.

First, we don't know the facts of the case but assuming everything was Kosher here, the officers likely fired on them because of an imminent threat to the officers or the public. You know, like reaching for a weapon, brandishing a weapon. I seriously doubt they fired on them with two boxes of Blu-ray players in their hands. And from the photo, it's clear the car's front windshield was struck numerous times. The suspects may have been in their car and trying to run down the officers which is actually a very common justification for lethal force by officers across the country.

In other words, if you caught a burglary leaving your house and he drives away from or runs away from you but you fire and kill, you will likely get prosecuted. If the same burglar is trying to run you down, or fire on you, then you will likely not get prosecuted if you had absolutely no other recourse. That is no way to retreat or step out of the way without getting killed. Keep in mind, you don't want to chase him and then get into a firefight where he can claim that he feared for his life because you were chasing him.

You will have actual need to fear for your life and hopefully have a reasonable jury agree with you as you will still likely get a civil suit filed by the burglary's family or him if you did not actually kill him. So, you can't exactly say you feared for you life and then snipe him from 100 meters.

So, you're likely wrong that police can normally shoot unarmed burglars who have surrendered or are simply running away.

With all this said, I agree with what you probably trying to say. Lethal force against burglary and robbery suspects by civilians and police without threat of prosecution or civil suits might actually help tame the wild world that we have now created.

I'll use deadly force if I ever find anyone in my house and then take the chances. I've got a hollow point 9MM just waiting for them. They got what they deserve.

There was a case many years back in Ohio wherein a farmer, sick and tired of having his farm broken into. then rigged up a device so that unwelcome intruders would get shot. So predictably enough, a burglar walked in and got shot. He(the burglar)later sued and won though I don't know if it was a criminal or civil suit he initiated.


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