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Thursday, 17 April 2008

Jonathan Belvin Taylor killed in the Friday night shootout when he pulled out a handgun and fired at the two officers

Jonathan Belvin Taylor, 24, spent most of 2007 in prison after a conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was released on parole in October, the state Department of Corrections said. Taylor, a Los Angeles resident killed in the Friday night shootout when he pulled out a handgun and fired at the two officers, was convicted in 2002 for carrying a concealed firearm in a car, was sentenced Lt. Raymond Garcia was shot in the face and is recovering. to 16 months in prison in 2005 for receiving stolen property, and served seven months of a 16-month sentence for carrying a gun in 2007, county and state records show.
He also was arrested in 2004 for carrying a loaded gun. El Segundo police on Monday released more details of what led to the shooting, including the fact that both officers were already wounded when they fired the bullets that struck Taylor as he tried to escape out the lobby doors. Detective Scott O'Connor and Lt. Raymond Garcia were working an overtime shift at the movie theater. The Pacific theater chain, which operates the Beach Cities 16 on Rosecrans Avenue and Nash Street, contracts with the city to pay for the police presence on weekends.
Taylor arrived at the theater with a woman and two other couples about 20 minutes earlier to see the last showing of "Street Kings," a movie about a Los Angeles police detective played by Keanu Reeves on a quest to find the killers of his former partner. Taylor's female companion was inside the theater when he approached the guest services counter and demanded a refund, El Segundo police Lt. Bob Turnbull said. An employee denied his request because he did not have his ticket
Detective Scott O'Connor was shot in the left shoulder and is recovering. stub. It was not clear why Taylor wanted his money back, but Turnbull said movie patrons sometimes ask for refunds when a theater is filled and they are unable to sit with their companions. Had he carried the stubs, he probably would have received his money back, Turnbull said. A manager asked the officers - who were standing at the entrance to a long hallway that leads to the theaters - to intervene when Taylor became belligerent. The manager wanted Taylor removed from the lobby because he was creating a disturbance, Turnbull said. "Witnesses described his demeanor as abnormal and his physical appearance to be sweating profusely," Turnbull said.
The shooting began when the officers approached him. "As Officer O'Connor made contact with the individual, Taylor spun around and produced a handgun and just began firing," Turnbull said. About 75 to 100 people in the lobby, many buying popcorn and sodas at the concession stand, dropped to the ground or ran. "It became a chaotic scene," Turnbull said. "He fired off five or six rounds. He was at the same time trying to flee out the doors." Both officers returned fire. A bullet hit Garcia in the face, just above his lip. It broke his jaw, struck his tongue, tore his esophagus and lodged near his spine. A bullet struck O'Connor in the chest area of his bullet-proof vest. Another missed the vest and penetrated his upper left shoulder. Despite their wounds, both officers fired at Taylor, killing him. He died just outside the glass doors facing Nash Street. One bullet fired in the exchange struck a 20-year-old "innocent bystander," police said. The man was taken to a hospital with a leg wound. The investigation will try to determine whether Taylor or the officers fired the round that hit the man. Police from throughout the South Bay swarmed in, closing the theaters. Garcia and O'Connor, along with a theater security guard, had seen Taylor arrive earlier with the other couples. Police special weapons teams went from theater to theater checking patrons to determine if Taylor had acted alone.
During the search, police detained the girlfriend and the other couples, who were trying to leave even though their friend lay dead on the concrete. Officers also arrested two people after finding a discarded handgun in theater 15. The people and gun were unrelated to Taylor, Turnbull said. They were released pending more investigation. The wounded officers are recovering.
O'Connor, who received a Medal of Valor award in 2000 for rescuing three neighbors from a burning home, has been released from a hospital and is recovering at home.
Garcia, head of the department's Special Operations Division and commander of the Traffic and Animal Control Section, remained hospitalized Monday.
"He is responsive and alert, still in ICU, being monitored," Turnbull said.
Garcia received a Medal of Valor award in 2001 for preventing a woman from jumping from a freeway overpass.
"Both are very lucky," Turnbull said. "Ray is a good friend of mine - not only a colleague but a peer. Officer O'Connor is one of my investigators. This is a difficult time."



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