One dead in strip club shooting

May 16, 2009 4:40:20 PM PDT
A man is dead, and a second wounded after investigators say they were shot by an off-duty police officer. It's the third officer-involved shooting in the last 24 hours.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The latest one happened around 3pm Saturday at the Moments Gentlemen's Club off Spencer Highway in Pasadena.

Pasadena police said the off-duty police officer shot the two men in self-defense, though it is unclear if either of the two men actually pointed a weapon at the off-duty officer.

Investigators told us the off-duty officer witnessed the manager of the club and two patrons having a dispute over some money owed to an employee inside. The off-duty officer knew the manager so he walked up to see what was happening. The two patrons became confrontational with the off-duty police officer.

At some point during the disturbance, we are told a red Lincoln Navigator pulled into the parking lot. Police said one of the patrons grabbed a gun out of the vehicle and that is when the officer opened fire.

Investigators said the second patron opened the passenger side door and began rifling around in the back seat. Anticipating a weapon, police said the off-duty officer shot him too.

"The officer is not required to wait until the point where an individual is actually leveled off and pointing a weapon at them. It's really a matter of what point in time when the officer feels his life is in danger," said Pasadena Police Chief Bud Corbett. "It may be at the point when an individual points the gun at the officer or it could be earlier than that. In this particular case, the officer perceived the threat when he realized this individual had the gun in his hand."

The driver of the Navigator drove the two patrons to Bayshore Hospital, where one of them later died. We were told the other patron suffered severe hand injuries and is now hospitalized. The driver is in police custody, but it is unclear if he will face any charges.

As for the off-duty officer involved in the shooting, he is a three-year veteran of the Pasadena police department. He spent ten years with the Detroit Police Department before coming here. The officer is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.

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