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Redondo Police Say No Gun Found on Shooting Victim

No gun was found on the body of the tow truck driver who Redondo Beach police shot and killed last Friday night alongside the San Diego Freeway, a Police Department spokesman said.

Officers said they shot Gregory Caldwell, 23, because he reached toward his waistband, for what they thought was a weapon.

Despite an extensive search, Redondo Beach officials said this week that no gun was found on the freeway embankment near the Slauson Avenue exit in Culver City, where Caldwell died.

Redondo Beach police Sgt. Mike Minard said a preliminary investigation has found that officers Jim Acquarelli and Fernando Mata acted properly in the shooting.

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Caldwell, of Mission Hills, had been followed north on the freeway at about 8 p.m. by Redondo Beach officers after a shopper reported that the tow truck driver and a companion were looking into parked cars near the Galleria at South Bay shopping center, Minard said.

Police said that officers in three cars stopped Caldwell and a 13-year-old boy on the freeway and found a pistol and a substance believed to be cocaine on the seat of the tow truck.

Caldwell tried to run after police found the gun, but he faced officers Acquarelli and Mata momentarily and reached for his waistband, Minard said. Police declined to say how many times the officers fired. They said a wounded Caldwell ran into some bushes, where a police dog found his body several minutes later.

The boy’s name was not released because of his age.

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