Police Wound Man Sought for Questioning
Sep. 23, 1987
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A man who bolted from police seeking to question him in the kidnap-slaying of a 14-year-old girl and the wounding of her friend was shot and critically wounded by an officer.
Roland Norman Comtois, 57, was shot twice Tuesday after scaling a barbed wire-topped wall in an attempt to get away from officers investigating the weekend abduction, said police spokesman Lt. Dan Cooke.
He was in critical condition at County-USC Medical Center after surgery, Officer Jim Farris said today.
''He will be booked on murder charges as soon as he's physically able to be booked,'' said Officer Mike Schwehr. ''There's no question he will be booked.''
Meanwhile, authorities continued to search for a woman they say lured the two girls into a motor home in the affluent San Fernando Valley suburb of Chatsworth.
The girls were walking near their homes close to midnight Friday when the woman approached them and said the motor home had engine trouble. When they accompanied her inside, they were kidnapped, then shot about an hour later and left for dead in an abandoned car in a remote canyon, according to authorities.
Police have refused to say if they were molested, or to speculate publicly on a motive.
The 13-year-old girl who survived the attack identified Comtois from a photo, said Lt. William Hall of the Los Angeles Police Department's officer- involved shooting team. Authorities also said he resembled a composite drawing of the killer and his small motor home was similar to the one the girl described.
Killed was Wendy Masuhara of Chatsworth. The 13-year-old, whose name has been withheld by police to protect her, remains under guard in an undisclosed hospital with wounds in her hand and neck.
Comtois was approached Tuesday by two officers sent to a neighborhood near Dodger Stadium, about 25 miles southeast of Chatsworth, to check a report of a motor home and a man matching circulated descriptions, Farris said.
With the help of some metal drums, Comtois scaled the wall and ran along the top of the concrete culvert that holds the Los Angeles River before he was shot by police Officer Daniel Labrada, Farris said.
California law allows officers to shoot to stop a fleeing felony suspect.