November 24, 2008
Scientology guard shoots man with sword
It’s difficult to miss the Scientology Celebrity Centre from the 101. Not sure if it was a disgust for the French chateau architecture or the Church of Scientology’s teachings or just an unfortunate choice of locations to practice the ancient way of the samurai, but a man was shot and killed in the centre’s parking lot Sunday after waving two samurai swords at a security guard:
Police did not release the name of the guard or the man killed in the shooting, which occurred about noon. An investigator said the man had a history with the church but was not a member now. The tape showed the man arriving at the Celebrity Centre’s Bronson Avenue parking lot in a red convertible, getting out of the vehicle and approaching a trio of security guards and waving a sword in each hand, Hara said.
He said the man, who was described as being in his 40s, was “close enough to hurt them” when the guard fired. The man was taken to County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Det. Wendi Berndt said the man was involved with the church “a long time ago.”
“There was a previous relationship, but it is unclear to what degree,” she said.
A teenager who saw the man arrive in the parking lot said he stopped the car abruptly in the driveway and climbed out with a 5-foot sword in his hand and an angry expression on his face.
Tony Marquez, 17, said the man, who was bald and had tattoos on his arms, walked toward the building, then returned to the car to get the other sword.
You know, Tom Cruise was in a movie called “The Last Samurai.” It’s probably nothing; I’m just saying ...