Neighbors Say Suspect Fatally Shot By Bel Air Police Was ‘Mentally Imbalanced’
BEL AIR (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say police fatally shot a Bel Air resident armed with a handgun after he allegedly confronted a gas company worker.
The overnight shooting took place in the 1200 block of Stone Canyon Road near Ottone Way just after 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
Police say a gas company employee was checking for a gas leak at the house when a man threatened him with a handgun.
The worker called police to the residence and officers found a resident now armed with a shotgun, according to LAPD Det. Gus Villanueva.
Neighbors identified the suspect as the owner of the home, 78-year-old Bob Bandler.
Officers shot the suspect after he allegedly confronted them with the gun on the second-floor balcony of the home, which neighbors say Bandler inherited from his parents.
Villanueva said he wasn’t sure whether the suspect fired any shots.
Neighbors say they referred to Bandler as “Crazy Bob” and some considered him very dangerous.
Stephen Verona has lived across the street from Bandler for 38 years.
“A Vietnam vet and an alcoholic, lot of issues, lot of demons but, basically, harmless,” Verona said. “He had a lot of guns but he never used them.”
“He macho-ed it, walked around very militaristic, but he never hurt anybody. Threatened yes, but he never hurt,” Verona said.
Years ago, Bandler asked Verona to design a cut-out display of a security guard, which he placed on the balcony where the shooting took place.
No officers were hurt during the incident.
Investigators recovered a handgun and a shotgun from the scene.