12/11/2006

Calif. man fatally shoots self after pursuit by deputies

By Rong-Gong Lin II, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Times

A 22-year-old man fatally shot himself in the head after a short chase by sheriff's deputies in an unincorporated area just east of Watts, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said Saturday.

Darin Cole had been driving recklessly and did not yield when deputies, suspecting the driver was under the influence, attempted to pull him over just before 8 a.m. Saturday, said deputy Frank LaPiana.

After a short pursuit, Cole jumped out of his car at an apartment complex in the 2300 block of Santa Ana Boulevard, where he struggled with deputies trying to arrest him, LaPiana said. Cole broke free, ran into the apartment complex, ran out, then struggled with his stepfather, the deputy said. Cole then reached into a bag near his vehicle, picked up a handgun and shot himself in the head, he said.

Los Angeles Police Department officers were called in to providecrowd control as county sheriff's deputies investigated the death.

"The mother has made it quite clear that the death of her son was not at the hands of the police," Los Angeles Police Chief William J.Bratton told KCBS-TV Channel 2. "Unfortunately, he had a weapon. It was an accidental death."

Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times
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