Thursday, March 28, 2019

Scientology Samurai Sword Attack

A few hours ago, CBS Los Angeles posted an article entitled "Sword-Wielding Suspect Reportedly Killed In Officer-Involved Shooting, 2 Officers Injured":

A suspect, allegedly wielding a Samurai sword, was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon in an officer-involved shooting.
The suspect was described as a male Asian who walked into a building owned by the Church of Scientology around 3:30 p.m. Police said there was an altercation in the lobby.
Police arrived and reportedly were both shot — one in the arm, one in the hand. The injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.
Authorities said the suspect is dead.
The Scientology Center is located in the 300 block of Market Street in Inglewood.
CBS2’s Dave Lopez reported from the chaotic scene. Police remained tight-lipped. In fact, he reported they didn’t even want to confirm the suspect who was dead was a male or not or even if in fact the suspect was deceased.
Sources said the suspect — who arrived on scene in a white Bentley without plates — died on the way to the hospital.
He spoke to a young woman named Kebrown Faris who read text messages from a woman she knew who had been inside the building.
She said, “A weird guy came into (the building) with a sword acting crazy. Police were called and he was shot, basically. But I’m fine and only the bad guy was shot.”
Police were still trying to piece together. They couldn’t tell Lopez if the suspect had a gun and if he didn’t, did the officers get wounded by friendly fire?
It was still unclear if the man was making a random attack or had targets. It was also unclear if the suspect had a gun in addition to the sword.
When Lopez asked Lieutenant Oscar Mejia who shot the officers, he replied, “At this point, our investigation is still preliminary. There are a lot of things that we are looking in to. And we don’t have the answers to that, as of this point, right now.”
He followed up with “Did the suspect have a gun?”
Mejia replied, “That’s what we are trying to determine. The crime scene is still fresh. There is a lot of evidence there that we have to process. There is video that we have to look at. So, at this point, that’s all we have as far as the investigation is concerned.”
Lopez said the building has an unarmed security guard.
Late Wednesday, KCAL9’s Rachel Kim reported that detectives were still poring over the crime scene.
The question remains who shot the officers if the suspect was carrying only the sword?
Detectives said they are also trying to establish why the suspect came to this location or if he was linked to anyone there.
To read the entire CBS article, click HERE.
Oddly enough, this is the second samurai sword attack on a Los Angeles Scientology building that ended in the perpetrator being fatally shot (of course, there could be more, but I'm only aware of two at the moment).  The first attack occurred in July of 2009, as reported by NBC on 7-17-09 in an article entitled "Man With Samurai Swords Shot, Killed at Scientology Building":

An Oregon man who was fatally shot as he wielded a pair of samurai swords and attempted to attack guests at a landmark Scientology building was a former follower of the religion who had made at least a dozen previous threats against the church, a Scientology official said Monday.

Mario Majorski, 48, was shot once by a security guard as he tried to use the swords to attack guests Sunday at the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, police said.

Majorski had threatened the church in a string of incidents dating to at least 2005 that were reported to the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI and Oregon authorities, said Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis. The threats were allegedly made through faxes and telephone calls but police could not immediately confirm how many were made.

"He was clearly disturbed," Davis said. "It's just a tragic incident. Our condolences go out to his family or friends."

Majorski had been a Scientologist in the early 1990s but appeared to have left the church about 15 years ago, Davis said.

The shooting will be reviewed by the district attorney's office but police were treating the killing as justifiable.

"The security guard had to take action to prevent the deceased from killing or maiming people on the premises," Los Angeles police Detective Wendi Berndt said.

Security surveillance tape showed Majorski arrived around noon in a red convertible, then approached the guards with a sword in each hand before he was shot, Berndt said. She said the tape would not be released to the public because it was too graphic. No other weapons were found in the car, which Berndt said she thought was a rental.

Majorski was pronounced dead at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Public records show Majorski associated with a string of addresses in Los Angeles County and Oregon during the last two decades. He filed for bankruptcy in 2000.

In October, police in Florence, Ore., arrested a Mario Majorski for menacing and disorderly conduct after he reportedly threatened a man with an ax handle, Florence Police Department spokeswoman Sarah Huff said. She said court records show Majorski had run out of gas and called AAA service to respond, but threatened the AAA representative when he arrived to help.

Other Oregon arrest reports show Majorski was arrested for criminal trespass by the Eugene Police Department in May 2007, and the next month the Lane County Sheriff's Department arrested him for unlawful use of a weapon.

In 1993, Majorski and another man sued a University of California, Los Angeles professor who had been speaking out against Scientology, Davis said. He said the men felt the professor was discriminating against them but the case was found to have no standing and was dropped.

The Celebrity Centre is a turreted, castle-like landmark in Hollywood that serves as "a home for the artist, a place where he can come and learn, attend seminars, meet other artists and even perform at our many showcases and events," according to the Centre's Web site.

Late Monday morning, a security guard patrolled outside the premises on a bicycle. He did not respond to questions.

Davis said the church frequently receives threats, many of them originating from a "cyber-terrorist group" that goes by the name Anonymous and includes Scientology among its targets.

Earlier this year, a Scientology building in Hollywood was vandalized with graffiti, and shots were fired through another Scientology building in Los Angeles, Davis said. In January, church officials in California received 22 envelopes of suspicious white powder that was treated by authorities as an anthrax threat.

Davis did not know if Majorski had been a member of the group.

Neighbors at his home in Florence said Majorski lived alone and seemed to receive few visitors. He often would disappear for weeks at a time on trips to California, they said.

Dale Doyle, 47, lived across the street from Majorski and helped him move into the neighborhood six months ago. He said he had never heard Majorski discuss Scientology.

"We saw him as pretty much harmless," he said.

The Church of Scientology was established in 1945 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard and claims 10 million members around the world. It likes to cultivate celebrity followers and among its more famed acolytes are Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

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