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Trial set for Kmart shooting suspect

September 04, 2010|By Gretchen Meier

The homeless man accused of shooting two police officers outside a busy Kmart is scheduled to appear Sept. 30 in Los Angeles County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing.

Police say Jamie Willard managed to reach around, grab an officer's gun and begin firing despite being handcuffed behind his back outside the Kmart on July 2.

Willard, 30, pleaded not guilty in July to two counts of attempted murder and other charges. He has remained in custody in lieu of $1-million bail.

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Willard had been detained by security guards outside the San Fernando Boulevard store because they suspected he had stolen DVDs, but a scuffle broke out when police arrived to take him into custody.

Burbank Police Officer Alex Gutierrez was shot repeatedly in the chest, but was protected by his bulletproof vest. A bullet fragment ricocheted and hit his leg. He was released from the hospital to recover at home.

Officer Derek Green was shot in his hand and required multiple operations. He also hurt his leg.

Willard, of Gresham, Ore., was Tasered during the incident and treated for cuts and scrapes.

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