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August 05, 2007
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Calif. police fatally shoot armed man at fiesta

By Steve Chawkins
The Los Angeles Times
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. As crowds jammed the city's main downtown thoroughfare for its annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta, police officers fatally shot an Oxnard man who allegedly pulled a loaded gun during a fight, police said Saturday.

The shooting occurred outside a restaurant at 11:50 p.m. Friday as hundreds of Fiesta revelers packed lower State Street.

The incident muted the city's festive air, which already was darkened by ash falling from a massive wildfire burning on the fringes of populated areas about 10 miles from downtown.

Wilfred A. Turner, a 24-year-old Navy veteran, died at the scene.

Police said Turner and two friends ran into another group from Oxnard and started quarreling over one man's alleged romantic involvement with Turner's 20-year-old wife.

When two Santa Barbara police officers tried to break up the fight, Turner brandished the .45-caliber automatic handgun, according to police.

At that point, the two officers, who have not been named by the department, shot him, police said.

Lt. Paul McCaffrey, a spokesman for the department, said there was "preexisting bad blood" and previous fights between Turner and the man who allegedly had an affair with his wife.

On Saturday, Fiesta crowds still packed the sidewalks downtown, although a children's parade had to be cut short in the morning because police investigators were still gathering evidence in the 600 block of State Street.

Also, parents didn't want their children needlessly exposed to falling ash, McCaffrey said.

Outside the Habit, the site of the shooting, a breeze swept multicolored dots of confetti down the street. Some residents said they were shaken by the incident.

"It scares me," said Jack Perry, a 15-year-old student at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara. "When we moved here from Chicago, I thought this place would be safe."

Copyright 2007 Los Angeles Times

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