The off-duty officer from the Santa Ana Police Department has not been identified, but the circumstances that led him to shoot and kill a man in Lakewood this morning have been released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
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The cop heard noises outside his Longworth Avenue home, went outdoors to find two males breaking into a vehicle across the street, identified himself as a police officer and gave chase in his car as they darted off on foot, according to deputies.
At some point around 6:30 a.m., one man being pursued got into the officer's car, how and why remains unclear. According to the sheriff's statement, the would-be thief reached for his waistband, at which point the cop fired four times at him. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
John Tucker, who retired from the Santa Ana Police Department 10 years ago, lived in the same neighborhood residents described as quiet and safe, save for a few burglaries that prompted Tucker to install a video surveillance camera on his property.
Sheriff's investigators are now reviewing tape from the camera of Tucker, who was awakened by the gunfire, as part of the shooting probe, the Los Angeles Times reports.