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2 officers shot, sword-wielding suspect killed inside Church of Scientology

By Darryl Coote

March 28 (UPI) -- Two officers were shot and a sword-wielding suspect was killed following a shootout inside a Church of Scientology in California.

The officers were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries, the Inglewood Police Department said in a statement. The suspect was also taken to the hospital where he later died.

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Police said the two officers responded to a 3:30 p.m. call on Wednesday about a suspicious person armed with a sword at the Church of Scientology on Market Street when the shootout broke out in the lobby of the building.

During the shootout, the suspect was shot in the head while one officer was shot in the hand and the other was shot in the arm.

Lt. Oscar Mejia of the Inglewood Police Department homicide division told reporters during a press conference that the scene was being combed for evidence.

Asked who shot the police officers, Mejia said, "there are a lot of things that we are looking into and we don't have the answers to that as of this point right now."

He said police are also trying to determine if the suspect had a gun as well as why he was at the Church of Scientology and if he knew anyone there.

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The suspect arrived at the scene alone in a white Bentley, Mejia said.

"Once we have additional information we will come out and give the news media an update," he said.

The Church of Scientology said it thanked the police department for their work "protecting our parishioners and staff."

"These officers are doing a heroic job protecting the community and keeping houses of worship safe against hate crimes," it said, KCAL9 reported.

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