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Armed Suspect Fatally Shot in Attempted Robbery

By Gathering Marbet
Special to The Lookout

July 22 -- Early Thursday morning a masked man wielding a gun and knife was shot to death by one of his victims when he tried to hold them up at a Jack in the Box drive through on Lincoln Boulevard.

The fatal shooting -- which marks the third homicide of the year -- took place at around 4:30 a.m. at the fast food restaurant on the corner of Lincoln and Grant Avenue.

The suspect, a white male whose identity has not been released, was shot in the front upper body, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

In statements given to police by the two victims, the suspect approached the passenger side of the victims’ vehicle, which was in the drive-through lane, police said.

“The suspect held the gun to the passenger’s head,” said Lt. Frank Fabrega, the police department spokesman.. “The passenger tried to move the gun away.

“A struggle ensured between the suspect and the passenger in the vehicle,” Fabrega said. “The suspect produced a large knife and stabbed the passenger in the hand.”

The driver reached behind the seat, grabbed a handgun and shot the suspect, police said.

The suspect staggered away and fell down behind a building near the back alley of the restaurant, police said..

“He didn’t make it to the alley,” Fabrega said.

Neighbors reported hearing shots shortly before dawn.

“I heard shots around 4:30 a.m.,” said Janet Lastimoso, manager of the Rest Haven Motel across the alley.

“I just waited and listened for what was going to happen next," she said. "In twenty minutes, the police were banging on all the doors asking questions.”

Jon Chevalier, a nearby resident, said he heard five shots and went to investigate, carrying a golf club for protection, before police arrived.

“I saw this guy frantically talking on a cell phone in the alley,” Chevalier said. “Then I stopped myself because if there was a gun, I only had a golf club.”

Chevalier backed away towards Bay Street, where he saw the first officer arriving and waved him down.

“I told him, ‘There was gunfire. You better draw your gun,’ and he ran down (the alley) alone,” said Chevalier, “which was quite brave.”

Chevalier said he then saw another police car arrive and told the officer, “You better go and help your buddy.”

“Their response time was amazing,” Chevalier said. “They were there within five, maybe ten minutes.

Another neighbor, who declined to give her name, pointed out where the yellow police tape had sectioned off the alley.

“They were taking fingerprints and dusting over there,” she said, pointing to the back door of Lincoln Pico Sporting Goods. “They were wearing plastic gloves. There’s one of them right there.”

A lone blue plastic glove lay in the middle of the alley.

The neighbor said she had overheard intense arguing in the ally, then the sound of shots and footsteps running, followed by someone saying, “I think he’s going to kill me,” or “he’s trying to kill me.”

“I didn’t call the police,” she said. “I didn’t want to get involved.”

The passenger was taken to a local hospital and treated for the stab wound in his hand, police said. He was then discharged.

Police will forward the case to the District Attorney’s office, which must determine -- with the help of police detectives -- if the shooting was a justifiable homicide, Fabrega said.

The DA must also decide whether to file misdemeanor charges against the driver for carrying a handgun, he said.

Thursday’s shooting comes four months after two young Latinos were gunned down at a party at the Moose Lodge on Ocean Park Boulevard.

Anyone who has additional information should call the Robbery/Homicide Unit of the Santa Monica Police Department at

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