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City Police Officer Shoots and Wounds Man He Says Lunged for Pistol

Times Staff Writer

A man who officers say lunged for a gun was shot and wounded early Monday in the third shooting by San Diego police officers in two weeks.

The Monday shooting happened when Officers Terrance Johnson and Jamal Pasha arrived at the home of Kevin W. Baxter, 30, in the 4800 block of Orange Avenue, about 3:50 a.m., after a neighbor complained about noise, police said.

Homicide Lt. Phil Jarvis said Baxter was standing in the semi-darkness of his doorstep when the officers approached. Baxter was concealing something in his hand, and Pasha told him to reveal what it was, Jarvis said.

It turned out to be a .38-caliber derringer in a holster, and the officer shouted at Baxter several times to drop the pistol, Jarvis said.

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Baxter dropped the gun and appeared to be backing away from it, when he suddenly lunged for the weapon, Jarvis said. As Baxter reached the gun, Jarvis said, Johnson fired five shots from his service revolver, hitting Baxter in the lower abdomen, arm and leg.

Baxter was taken to Mercy Hospital, where he was in good condition Monday night, a hospital spokeswoman said. Jarvis said the district attorney’s office will determine whether Baxter will face any charges.

As is procedure in shooting cases, Johnson was placed on administrative duty while the incident is investigated.

In the other recent shootings by officers, Officer James E. Kremer shot and killed a man who the officer said charged him with a 3-foot-long, 2-by-6-inch board in South San Diego, and officer Mark Heacox shot a man he believed was trying to run him down in a City Heights parking lot. The man was later released from Mercy Hospital after surgery to remove a bullet from his neck. Both shootings took place Feb. 21 and are being reviewed by the district attorney’s office, Jarvis said.

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