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Cop Shoots Actor at Halloween Party

October 29, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A police officer at a Halloween costume party shot and killed an actor Saturday after the man pointed a fake gun at him, police said.

It wasn’t clear if the actor knew that the officer was responding to a noise complaint or if he thought he was just another partygoer in costume, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman said Saturday.

Anthony Dwain Lee, 39, died at the West Los Angeles mansion where he was shot shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday. He had appeared in small TV and film roles, including the character Fred in the 1997 Jim Carrey movie, ``Liar Liar.″

Police said several hundred people, many of them in costume, were at the party. Officer Tarriel Hopper and his partner were looking for the mansion’s owner as they walked along an outside walkway.

Police reported that the officers looked through a glass window and saw Lee and two other people in a room. When Lee looked up toward the officer, he allegedly pointed a phony gun in the officer’s direction, said police Officer Charlotte Broughton.

Hopper responded by firing several rounds from his weapon through the window. Investigators later determined Lee’s gun was fake.

``It does not appear that (the officer) did anything wrong,″ Broughton said.

``When somebody has what appears to be an authentic weapon, you respond the way you’re trained to respond,″ she said.

Rick Hull, one of the party hosts, told KTLA-TV in Los Angeles that Lee raised his toy gun after an officer shined a flashlight into the room, and that officers did not identify themselves before the shooting.

``This is so incredibly shocking that a person would be taken down like this,″ said Lee’s friend, Kirsten Blackburn.

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