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October 03, 2006
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10th fatal shooting this year by police in Ga.'s DeKalb County

The Associated Press

ATLANTA- DeKalb County police killed a suspect they were chasing early Tuesday, marking the department's 10th fatal shooting this year.

The toll is more than three times the number of fatal shootings by police in all of last year in the county of 700,000 residents. It also exceeds the seven so far this year in New York City. Los Angeles had report nine fatal shootings by police as of September.

The incident Tuesday began as officers chased two people wanted in connection with the killing of a man and a carjacking, said Jason Gagnon, spokesman for police in the county that includes a portion of Atlanta and its eastern suburbs. The suspects' car spun out of control and the driver fired at officers, Gagnon said.

"When he fired, the officers had no other choice than to fire back for their safety," he said. He said the driver died at the scene and the second person in the car was taken to a hospital.

Several rounds were fired, he said.

The four officers involved in the shooting will be placed on routine administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, Gagnon said.

DeKalb Police Chief Nick Marinelli has blamed the rise in fatal police shootings in part on loose gun laws in the South and more aggressive criminals. One DeKalb officer has been killed this year, shot to death along with a suspect on June 29.

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