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Suicide-by-cop possible in Sun Valley shooting

October 10, 2011 | 11:40 am

A man fatally shot by officers in Sun Valley may have been trying to commit suicide by cop, family members said.

Los Angeles police officers responded to a report of someone shooting in the air about 5 a.m. Sunday and confronted Julio Sandoval, 47, near Vineland Avenue and Valerio Street, authorities said.

Sandoval reportedly pointed a rifle at the officers, who fired on him. He died at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. No officers were hurt.

Family members told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that Sandoval had been distraught the night before and called police himself, saying he was carrying a gun.

His son said the gun Sandoval aimed at officers was a BB gun.

"The whole time I'm just yelling, 'Stop, my dad's just drunk, he's got a BB gun!" the son told KTLA.

Los Angeles police Capt. Peter Whittingham said he could not confirm reports that Sandoval had called police himself or that the weapon was a BB gun.

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-- Abby Sewell

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