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2 Nearby Officer-Involved Killings Part of 2011 Spike

Although crime fell, deadly police encounters rose, including one in Los Feliz and another near Downtown.

A 49-year-old man shot and killed by police near Children's Hospital in Los Feliz is among the 54 officer-involved killings recorded in 2011--a number nearly 70 percent higher than in the year before.

David McMahon was shot in the 4600 block of Fountain Avenue on Feb. 19, 2011 by police who were called to investigate a prowler, according to the LA Times website.

McMahon began running north on Westmoreland, then turned on Fountain Avenue, as he was being chased by three police officers. 

According to the Times report, he displayed a handgun and pointed it at the officers.  The officers shot back at him several times.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the killing was one of 54 that occurred in Los Angeles County in 2011 involving law enforcement officers shooting suspects.

Another occurrred on Dec. 17 in the 400 block of Solano Avenue near Downtown, where an armed man was shot by a Metro Sheriff's deputy during a fire. The man was brandishing a gun--though he was not shooting--and firefighters called in the transit deputy.

The number is a significant increase -- 70 percent higher than in 2010 -- and is baffling because violent crime overall was down significantly in 2011.

According to the Times, there was also a major increase in occasions in which LAPD officers fired their weapons at suspects, a 60 percent increase over the previous year. See more:

LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck said he believed faster responses by police to violent situations was leading to more confrontations.

"By and large these are not shootings of misperception or overreaction," he wrote in response to questions from The Times. "They are legitimate responses to serious threats."

According to the Times, instances of officer-involved shootings and killings have leveled off again in 2012 and returned to their 2010 level.

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