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Fatal shooting by deputy appears justified: sheriff

MOBILE (AP) — Authorities identified Mobile County sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Burch as the undercover deputy who shot and killed an 18-year-old man during a drug-related incident in North Mobile.

Sheriff Sam Cochran said Friday that the deputy shot Robert Lucas four times Thursday afternoon when Lucas pointed a fully loaded .40-caliber, Hi-Point semiautomatic pistol at the deputy.

Burch, now on administrative leave, and two other deputies were in street clothes. Two others were wearing uniforms, sheriff’s spokeswoman Kate Johnson told the Press-Register for a story Saturday. Two deputies were driving marked cars, and Burch and two others were driving unmarked cars.

Cochran said that while the investigation is incomplete, it appeared that the deadly force Burch used was justified based on the information investigators gathered.

An angry crowd confronted police immediately after the shooting in the Josephine Allen public housing complex. Some shouted obscenities at officers who swarmed into the area.

Cochran said the pistol that Lucas pointed at Burch was one that had been taken during a carjacking last month. There was an active warrant out for Lucas’ arrest in an unrelated case, authorities said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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