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Man is shot dead after threatening Glendale officer

Police were responding to a call of a possible drug overdose.

January 05, 2012|By Jason Wells, jason.wells@latimes.com
  • Glendale police investigate the scene of an officer-involved shooting in the 1700 block of Riverside Drive in Glendale, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2012. (Raul Roa/Staff photographer)
Glendale police investigate the scene of an officer-involved…

A man was shot and killed by Glendale police Thursday after he lunged at an officer with a knife, a department spokesman said.

The man, 40, was shot once in the upper torso and rushed to the hospital by paramedics who were already on the scene responding to what had initially been reported as a possible drug overdose, police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The officer was not hurt in the altercation, which occurred at about 1:15 p.m. in the 1700 block of Riverside Drive in West Glendale. Police declined to identify the officer.

Lorenz said police were investigating a possible “suicide by cop” scenario, in which someone intentionally provokes an officer to shoot.

When officers arrived, the man, whom authorities did not identify, was reportedly violent and throwing objects — including a baseball bat — toward them in a back alley.

Firefighters who had originally responded to the scene called for police backup after the man became violent. They initially thought he may have had a gun, Lorenz said.

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As police officers approached, he lunged at them with a knife and an officer shot one round, hitting him in the chest.

“Drugs and guns do not mix,” Lorenz said.

A woman at the scene said that the man was her boyfriend, and that he was suicidal.

Glendale police temporarily closed portions of several streets in the Riverside-Rancho area near the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank to investigate the incident. Los Angeles County and internal affairs officials were also at the scene.

It was the second fatal officer-involved shooting in Glendale in recent months. On Sept. 30, a gun-wielding man opened fire on officers on San Fernando Road near Cerritos Elementary School. The man, Antonio Tafolla-Diaz, was killed in the ensuing gun battle. No one else was hurt.

Officers in that incident used their patrol car to shield themselves and returned fire at Tafolla-Diaz, who hid behind a light pole as he continued to fire his gun until he was eventually hit.

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