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EDITORIAL SHOOTING SPREE.

IT'S too soon to determine what, exactly, happened in Compton on Monday, when sheriff's deputies fired 120 rounds into, over and around the vehicle of an unarmed driver.

But it's clear something went horribly wrong.

In all, some 10 deputies fired their weapons, turning a residential neighborhood into a combat zone. One deputy was struck by friendly fire, as were at least five homes. A bullet narrowly missed a 4-year-old boy.

Why the deputies were firing is a mystery. Some say the suspect tried to ram them with his car. Others thought he shot first. And others may have fired because that's what everyone else was doing.

All this suggests a breakdown in discipline, if not a failure in training. Sheriff Lee Baca is right to call for an investigation into the incident. It's important to establish not only what happened, but also what didn't, so that in the future, deputies are protecting neighborhoods, not endangering them.
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:May 12, 2005
Words:157
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