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Police Say They Used Non-Lethal Weapons On Suspect Before Fatally Shooting Him

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Police said they used less-than-lethal alternatives on a suspect — including bean bags and a taser — before fatally shooting him Monday evening.

They described the suspect as possibly having mental problems.

But people who knew 48-year-old Earl Rose said he was eccentric, not crazy.

Police received a call at 8:15 p.m. Monday about “a male with possible mental illness acting violently” near East 107th Street and South Clovis Avenue in South Los Angeles, Officer Karen Rayner of Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section said.

There was an “officer help” call from the incident location at 9:10 p.m., followed by the officer-involved shooting, Rayner said.

Police shot Rose with multiple bean bag rounds before he was fatally wounded, witnesses told an On Scene news video cameraman.

In a statement issued late this afternoon, police said that they were sent to the scene on a radio call “regarding a male suffering from mental illness. As the officers were responding … they received additional information that the suspect had refused to take his medication and was verbally aggressive.”

Police said they tried to “speak with the suspect to calm him down and detain him for medical assistance.” They described Rose as being 240 pounds and 5 feet 11 inches tall. They said he ran into his bedroom.

Then he came out of his room “and aggressively charged the officers who were in front of the house.”

First they used a bean bag shotgun which knocked him to the ground.

“The suspect attempted to get up and continue his attack, causing them to use a Taser which had no effect,” the statement said. “The suspect continued charging the officers, actually grabbing one of the officers, ripping his badge from his uniform.

“During the struggle which moved to the street, the suspect attempted to take the bean bag shot gun and one of the officer’s firearms. Both officers shot the suspect to stop his attack. They took the suspect into custody and immediately called for medical assistance.”

Then firefighters arrived and pronounced Rose dead at the scene.

The officers involved in the shooting suffered minor injuries, but no one else was hurt.

Rose’s mother told reporters that her son was bipolar and was suffering some sort of episode, but she said the officers “killed him.”

“No way did he try to get their guns,” she said.

Rose’s brother, Charlie Lewis, said that “They shot him six times in cold blood. He didn’t even get close enough to even put his hands on the cops.”

LAPD Sgt. Mitzi Grasso told reporters that the officers only used their guns after Rose tried to get them. She agreed the officers suffered only minor injuries.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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