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Two die in separate police shootings in South Gate, Willowbrook

A South Gate man who called authorities to report that he had stabbed himself was shot dead after allegedly charging officers with a knife, officials said Thursday.

The bizarre episode was one of two fatal incidents involving shootings by officers Wednesday night. Both remain under investigation.

Police responded at about 7:10 p.m. to the apparent residence of Christopher Coronel in the 9800 block of San Miguel Avenue. Coronel had called South Gate police to say he had stabbed himself 20 times.

When officers responded, Coronel who was outside, claimed he had a gun and ran indoors. Soon after, Coronel ran outside holding a knife, according to an incident report.

Coronel attempted to enter a neighbor’s residence, but did not get inside. Officers fired a stunbag gun and a Taser, which they said did not subdue Coronel. Then, still holding the knife, he ran toward one or more officers, who shot him.

Coronel was pronounced dead at the scene. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, which released his name after notifying relatives, said Coronel was about 35 years old.

The other shooting occurred in Willowbrook at about 8:30 p.m., after police stopped two people in a car that had been reported stolen. Both ran from the scene. One was found hiding in a yard and was taken into custody without incident.

The other, found in a carport, was shot after he “reached into his pocket as if he was reaching for a weapon,” according to the county Sheriff’s Department.

The 19-year-old was pronounced dead at a hospital. Authorities had not released his name. Investigators did not find a weapon at the scene.


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-- Howard Blume

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