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News Release

Monday, October 1, 2001

Media Relations

Robbery in Progress Leads to Officer Involved Shooting

"Robbery in Progress Leads to Officer Involved Shooting"


Los Angeles: On September 30, 2001, at approximately 5:15 P.M., West Valley Patrol Officers Peter Vanderburgh, 53 years of age, 28 years with the Department and Fernando Avila, 24 years of age, 15 months with the Department responded to a radio call relative to a robbery in progress in the jewelry section of Macy’s department store, 6100 Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

When the officers arrived they observed a male black suspect standing behind a jewelry display case pointing a handgun at the head of a male victim. The officers ordered the suspect to drop the gun. The suspect failed to comply and pointed the gun at the officers. Both officers fired multiple rounds from their weapons at the suspect. The wounded suspect was incapacitated and pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. He had not yet been identified at the time of this report. The officers were not injured.

Subsequent investigation revealed a second suspect who was involved in the robbery escaped prior to the arrival of the officers. The suspect boarded an MTA bus that drove south on Topanga Canyon Boulevard. He was described as a male, Black, 25 to 30 years of age, 5-10 to 6-0 feet, slender, wearing a white tank top and light color pants.

Detectives from LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division and Critical Incident Investigation Division are conducting the investigations. Any one with information regarding the second suspect is urged to contact 213-485-2129 or, after hours, at 213-485-3261.

Lieutenant Rick Papke, Officer Involved Shooting Section, provided this information.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Eduardo Funes, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.