06/07/2010

SWAT standoff leads to porn actor's death in Calif.

Stephen Clancy Hill fell 40 feet to his death

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Surrounded by a SWAT team on a rocky cliff, a porn actor suspected of killing a colleague last week moved to the edge of the outcropping and fell some 40 feet to his death, ending a dramatic, daylong standoff with police outside Los Angeles.

Video of the apparent suicide captured by news cameras Saturday shows Stephen Clancy Hill in Chatsworth, talking to police negotiators. With a crowd of media and officers watching, Hill tumbled down the hillside after scooting to the ledge from a seated position.

Police said Hill had repeatedly threatened suicide in the hours leading up to the fall, which came a day after murder and attempted murder charges had been filed against the 34-year-old porn actor.

"He was bent on taking his own life," Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said. "It's very unfortunate. We wanted this to end a different way."

Waiting paramedics rushed Hill to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead from injuries suffered in the fall.

Police say a "less than lethal munition" was used against Hill as they tried to apprehend him just before he apparently took his life.

It was unclear whether the projectile that officers fired had struck Hill or missed.

Albanese declined to discuss details of the weapon police used, citing an ongoing internal investigation that is launched after every serious use of force by officers.

SWAT officers had spent part of Saturday afternoon trying to talk Hill down from the hillside as he clutched a sword.

It was unknown whether the sword was the weapon in Tuesday's deadly attack at a DVD production center that also left two people injured.

Hill fled to the Chatsworth neighborhood hillside after leaving a house where he was barricaded for most of Saturday.

Charges in the attack had been filed against Hill Friday after Eric Jover, who runs the Ultima DVD production house, offered a $2,000 reward on the company's website for information leading to his arrest.

Authorities said Hill, whose professional name is Steve Driver, attacked a colleague with a sword that was used as a film prop. The rampage occurred during a social gathering at Ultima's studios about a week after being told he was being fired and that he would have to move out of the production facility, where he had been living, authorities said.

He then turned on two others who rushed to their co-worker's defense. One of those who attempted to help, Herbert Hin Wong, 30, was killed in the attack.

The Internet Adult Film Database lists 13 credits for Hill, including fetish films for Ultima and other companies.

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