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Suspect in Burbank police shooting appears in court

July 08, 2010|By Chloƫ Mayer, chloe.mayer@latimes.com

BURBANK — A homeless man accused of shooting two police officers with one of their own guns remains in jail following a brief court appearance Wednesday.

Jamie Willard, 30, returned to Los Angeles County jail after a scheduled arraignment was postponed until July 22. He is being held in lieu of $3-million bail.

Willard has been charged with two counts of attempted murder after allegedly firing on the officers last Fridayoutside a busy Kmart store on San Fernando Boulevard.

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Burbank police officers arrested Willard on suspicion of stealing Blu-ray disks when a vicious struggle broke out and he seized an officer's gun despite having his hands cuffed behind his back, Sgt. Robert Quesada said.

At a City Hall council meeting on Tuesday, Police Chief Scott LaChasse said officers had loosened Willard's handcuffs after he complained they were too tight.

Officers Derek Green, who was shot in his left hand, remains hospitalized and has undergone three operations. Green is right-handed.

Officer Alex Gutierrez is recovering at home after he was shot several times in his chest, which was protected by a bullet proof vest. A bullet fragment also ricocheted into his leg, officials said.

Willard made a brief appearance in front of Superior Court Judge Dorothy Reyes, but only to confirm that he agreed to the postponed arraignment.

Willard, of Gresham, Ore., shuffled into the courtroom wearing shackles on his feet and his hands cuffed in front of him. He had a large graze on his left cheek, which Quesada said he sustained during the scuffle with police.

Quesada said there is an outstanding arrest warrant in Oregon for Willard relating to felony theft.

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