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Man with sword killed by police at Church of Scientology in California; two officers wounded

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- A sword-wielding suspect was fatally shot by police and two officers were struck by gunfire during an incident at a Church of Scientology in Inglewood Wednesday afternoon, police said.

The incident was reported at the church about 3:30 p.m. at 315 Market St., Inglewood Police Lt. Neal Cochran told KTLA.

A man pulled up to the church in a white Bentley and entered with what police described as a samurai sword, then began making a scene, officials said.

Police were called and there was a confrontation with the suspect in the lobby, police said.

The suspect was struck in the head by gunfire and the officers were shot, one in the hand and one in the arm.

It is unclear how the officers were shot and police are working to determine if the suspect was also armed with a gun.

The person, described only as an Asian man, was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died, police said.

Both officers and the suspect were taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The suspect's Bentley remained at the scene.

Later, Lt. Oscar Mejia said investigators were combing the scene for evidence and were reviewing video connected to the incident.

A woman read text messages from her friend who was inside the church at the time of the shooting. The witness described the suspect as a "weird guy" who was "acting crazy."

Detectives are now trying to determine why the man went to the church and whether he knew anyone there, Mejia said.

In a statement, the Church of Scientology thanked Inglewood police for their quick response and protecting its parishioners and staffers.

"These officers are doing a heroic job protecting the community and keeping houses of worship safe against hate crimes," the church wrote. "We have offered our full support to the authorities who are investigating this incident."

 

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