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Black Man
07-22-2008, 11:49 AM
Inglewood officer involved in 2nd fatal shooting
By THOMAS WATKINS Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 07/22/2008 12:49:16 AM PDT

INGLEWOOD, Calif.A police officer still under investigation for a 19-year-old's death is back on administrative leave after fatally shooting an armed man in his apartment.



Officer Brian Ragan, who has been with the Inglewood Police Department about five years, was placed on administrative leave after the fatal shooting of 38-year-old Kevin Wicks early Monday, Capt. Eve Irvine said.



Irvine said such leave is standard. Ragan still is being investigated for his role in the May 11 shooting of Michael Byoune, 19, who died when Ragan and his patrol partner opened fire on the car he was in.



Ragan had been placed on leave after that shooting, which occurred when he and his partner responded to the sound of gunfire in the area.



Irvine did not know when Ragan returned to patrol duty, but said he had been evaluated by a department psychologist after the first shooting and cleared for duty.



"Our department felt it was OK to release him to the field," said Irvine, commanding officer of the department's detective bureau, which is overseeing the investigation into Ragan's conduct.



She said that although Ragan had not been cleared in the Byoune's shooting, it was standard practice to return an officer to active duty "unless there are some sort of egregious circumstances like criminal charges.

"

Monday's shooting happened after police responded to a call from a person complaining of a disturbance in Wicks' apartment.

Irvine said that about
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12:20 a.m., uniformed officers responding to a radio call knocked on the front door of the apartment, verbally identified themselves as police, and Wicks opened the door.



"At one point, the officers could not see Mr. Wicks' hand," she said. "They said, 'We need to see your hand.' At this point, Mr. Wicks suddenly raised a handgun.

"

Irvine said Ragan fired in self-defense. She did not know how many times he used his weapon.



"On first glance, this appears it is in policy," Irvine said. "Somebody pointed a gun at the officer and they were in fear of their life. But it is subject to complete investigation.

"

A police statement said a semiautomatic handgun was found at the scene.



The gun was registered to Wicks, a 19-year employee of the U.S. Postal Service who was described by friends as a nice man who had had no trouble with police.



A family member claimed in a television news interview that police went to the wrong door, but Irvine said she was certain police responded to the correct address.



It was the third fatal shooting by police in the southwestern Los Angeles County city of about 110,000 since early May.



"It is not common for the Inglewood Police Department to have three shootings," Irvine said. As well as a criminal and administrative investigation, the district attorney's office is also probing Wicks' death and Irvine said an independent review may be convened to look at the spate of shootings.



Ragan was placed on leave after the death of Byoune, who was shot shortly after getting into a car outside an Inglewood fast food restaurant. Officials said at the time the car was driving toward the officers and they believed gunfire was coming from within. The driver was wounded in the leg.



Ragan, who was driving a patrol car, fired four rounds through his own windshield then got out the car and continued firing from behind a wall. Ragan's partner Roman Fernandez also fired several shots.



On July 1, an Inglewood officer fatally shot a suspect in a confrontation after a radio call about gang members trespassing led to a foot pursuit down an alley. A police statement said money and narcotics fell from the person, and the shooting occurred in an alcove as the officer tried to take the suspect into custody.



Hours after Monday's shooting, a single bullet hole in the door of his apartment and small police measuring tapes affixed nearby were the only outward signs of the violent confrontation in the small, well-kept building.



Lonnell Williams, who lives across the hall, said he heard a loud knocking followed by about three shots, and then a police officer telling Wick he was going to be OK.



"He kept talking to him, giving him first aid telling him everything was going to be all right," Williams said. "Trying to make sure he didn't go into shock.

"

The bullet hole in the door, which has a peep hole, was higher than waist level, near the lock.



Williams described Wicks as an amicable man who worked hard and was always very quiet.



"I never heard any noise coming from his apartment," Williams said. "He was a real nice person, easy going.

"

Fred Carter, who identified himself as the grandfather of Wicks' 2-year-old daughter, Kory, said, "He was a very nice young man, very quiet but well-liked.

"

He said Wicks had no problems with police.



Larry Dozier, a spokesman for the Postal Service, said Wicks was a counter sales associate and a distribution clerk who worked afternoons at the West Los Angeles branch, where his mostly female co-workers called him their "teddy bear."

STYLE
07-22-2008, 11:58 AM
this is just one of the loooooong list of reasons why i hate the police.......cowardice.

why is firing their guns the 1st option to resolve the situation? cause they are afraid.
afraid of phyisical confrontation. even afraid of verbal confrontation. notice how verbal exchanges quickly escalate with them?

i don't know if its a failure of training or successful training. if you catch my drift.

Olive Oil Goombah
07-30-2008, 08:47 PM
Sounds like Ragan has an itchy trigger finger. But Wicks was holding a gun??? according
to the police....i dunno.
Im not one to just jump on a cop every time they shoot someone, especially in this country
with all the guns and nuts out there. I know alot of Cleveland cops have gotten killed lately.
But there were alot of things that were unclear in this story to make a sound judgement.

Mic Tyson
07-30-2008, 09:15 PM
thats one of the things i hate about LA. the police.

Soldier of Darkness
08-02-2008, 06:27 AM
i live like... a stone's throw from the Welcome To Inglewood sign... i was gonna say, this makes me not want to walk around, until i realized they shot the fucker up in his house.

Dusty Bones
08-02-2008, 10:24 PM
wouldnt be surprised if the "gun" turned out to be his TV remote...

J.T.S.
08-04-2008, 02:20 PM
Damn the next time a cop comes to my house i'm not answering the door without my gun off safety!!