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Police fatally shoot unarmed man in Koreatown

March 21, 2010 |  7:14 am

Mourning Steven Eugene Washington

Los Angeles Police officers shot and killed a man in Koreatown early Saturday morning after he reached into his waistband for what officers believed was a weapon, authorities said.

Steven Eugene Washington, 27, died from a single gunshot wound to the head shortly after midnight.

Although no weapon was found, officers said they feared for their lives because Washington did not respond to their commands and appeared to be reaching for his waistband.

Hours after the shooting, Washington's relatives criticized police and said the dead man had suffered from learning disabilities and was generally afraid of strangers. They insisted that he was not violent and that he probably was walking home after visiting a friend.

Police identified the gang enforcement officers involved as Allan Corrales and George Diego, who have served nearly seven and eight years with the department, respectively. Both have been reassigned until the probe is completed, police said.

Read the full story here.

--Jason Song in Koreatown

Learn about more than 100 fatal officer-involved shootings in Los Angeles County since January 2007 on The Times' interactive Homicide Report.

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