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January 09, 2006
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Fugitive shot, killed after desperate escape attempt in Sacramento

The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif.- A fugitive broke through the window of a patrol car and attempted to commandeer a school bus loaded with children before he was fatally shot by a deputy, authorities said.

Deven Lepierro's fatal run-in with police began Friday when he was accused of stealing from a Wal-Mart store and deputies discovered that he was a parolee wanted on two felony warrants, said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. R.L. Davis.

The deputies cuffed his hands behind his back and secured his legs with plastic restraints. But on the ride to jail, the 24-year-old managed to free his legs and smashed the car window to escape, Davis said.

As he fled, Lepierro tried to carjack at least six cars and a school bus, according to authorities. Davis said the bus driver kept him out by holding the door closed, while students watched in disbelief.

"It was quick thinking on the bus driver's part," Davis said. "The driver potentially saved a lot of children."

Lepierro managed to get behind the wheel of another patrol car and tried to drive off, but a pickup truck driver blocked him in, Davis said.

The deputy shot Lepierro in the upper torso, police said. The sheriff's department said the deputy fired because the suspect had exhibited violent behavior and had access to a loaded shotgun in the patrol car.

The unidentified 15-year veteran of the force was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting. Lepierro was from North Highlands, just outside Sacramento, authorities said.

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