L.A. Policeman Shot to Death in Drug Arrest

Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles policeman was killed late Monday night in a shoot-out with two teen-agers he suspected of making a drug transaction in Sylmar Square.

The two suspects, ages 17 and 19, were wounded and were booked today for the slaying of Officer James Hartley Pagliotti, 28, a five-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department assigned to the Metropolitan Division.

"The whole LAPD will weep for him and the whole city should weep for him," said an emotional Chief Daryl F. Gates, who went to the scene at the intersection of Astoria Street and Bromont Avenue.

Gates described the suspects as "no good sons-of-bitches narcotics dealers" and said "they should die."

Police said Pagliotti and other plainclothes officers were following a burglary suspect in a high crime area about 10:15 p.m. when he and Officer Randy Garcia, 31, witnessed a drug deal on the street. As the officers got out of their unmarked police cars and approached the two teen-agers, the 17-year-old allegedly fired three shots at Pagliotti with a semi-automatic pistol.

Pagliotti returned fire, wounding the 17-year-old in the chest, before falling, mortally wounded. The second suspect, identified as Thomas Mixon, 19, was shot in the right shoulder by Garcia, who was not injured. Police have not disclosed the identity of the younger suspect.

Pagliotti and the 17-year-old were taken to Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, where Pagliotti was pronounced dead.

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