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Quiet Returns to Neighborhood After Riots Over Boy’s Shooting

August 1, 1995

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ As quiet returned to a neighborhood that erupted when police shot and killed a 14-year-old boy, authorities insisted the youth was to blame for his own death.

At a Monday news conference, police displayed a replica of the semiautomatic pistol they said Jose Antonio Gutierrez pointed at them, prompting an officer to shoot him four times Saturday night.

A witness said Gutierrez was carrying a flashlight _ not a gun _ and was shot even as he lay wounded and handcuffed on the ground.

The shooting produced two nights of rock- and bottle-throwing. About 25 people were arrested and a squad car was damaged. There was no violence Monday night.

Sonia Martinez said she witnessed the shooting from her front yard, about 50 feet from where the boy hit the sidewalk.

``They shot him, handcuffed him and shot him again,″ she said.

Lt. John Dunkin told reporters a yellow flashlight was in Gutierrez’s back pocket and he carried the pistol in his hand.

``As the officers stopped and began to get out of their vehicle, the subject turned, pointed the weapon at them,″ Dunkin said. Gutierrez was handcuffed after he fell, the lieutenant said.

Outraged residents took to the streets after the shooting and returned Sunday after police closed down a car wash organized to raise money for the boy’s funeral.

The boy’s mother, Marianna Gutierrez, and his uncle, Antonio, sobbed as they watched the news conference on television.

``Lies,″ the uncle said in English. In Spanish, through an interpreter, he added: ``Now that he’s dead, they’ve got to cover up and everything that did happen, they’re changing it to benefit them.″

Update hourly