Theft Leads to Officer-Involved Shooting

POSTED: Saturday, December 27, 2008 - 9:39pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:22pm

EL PASO--- An El Paso Police officer shot and killed a man after he attempted to steal beer from a convenience store, a police spokesman said.

The shooting happened at the 7-11 convenience store in the 9800 block of Socorro Rd. around 11 p.m. Friday night.

The officer, working in plainclothes, was keeping surveillance on the convenience store when the man stole the beer, El Paso Police spokesman Javier Sambrano said in a news release.

The officer approached the man, displayed his badge, and attempted to stop him, Sambrano said.

The suspect, who has not been identified, then pulled a knife on the officer, Sambrano said.

The officer told the man to put the knife on the ground, Sambrano said. The man then complied.

Shortly thereafter, the officer attempted to arrest the man, but the suspect grabbed the knife and lunged at the officer, police said. That's when the officer shot the man.

He died at the scene.

Local store owners tell NewsChannel 9 crimes like theft and robbery are on the rise in the area.

One restaurant owner, who wished to remain anonymous, was attacked Tuesday afternoon by a man who demanded food.

Another store owner, who also wished to remain anonymous, said she worries about the effect the crime is having on her customers.

"It would be better if we had more security because every customer that walks in wonders if they're going to harm us," she said.

While she's glad an officer was nearby Friday night, the woman believes there was only one problem for would-be criminals.

"If they see them without uniforms, they're more likely to do something wrong because they won't see anyone who'll try to stop them," she said.
"If they see a cop, they'll get scared and they won't attack."

This is the fifth officer-involved shooting of 2008 where a person has been injured or killed.

Four separate investigations into the shooting are underway, police said.

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