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Torrance Arsonist Killed In OIS

Torrance Arsonist Killed In OIS

TORRANCE (CNS) - A 19-year-old man suspected of torching his mother's  home after setting fire to an apartment where his 2-year-old son narrowly  escaped was killed Thursday in an officer-involved shooting at a Torrance middle  school, authorities said.

Asa James Dolak of Torrance, who had threatened to kill police officers  and his family members, was armed with a knife when officers and detectives  found him hiding about 1:30 p.m. inside a girls restroom at Madrona Middle  School in the 21300 block of Madrona Avenue, Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt  said.

The shooting occurred in a grassy area on the school grounds after Dolak  ran from officers, refusing their commands for him to drop the weapon and  surrender, Watt said, adding that Dolak was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators believe Dolak broke into his former girlfriend's  apartment at a two-story, four-unit building in the 16700 block of South  Crenshaw Boulevard following some kind of dispute with the woman, who is the  mother of Dolak's 2-year-old son, Watt said.

He allegedly threatened his ex-girlfriend with a knife, punched out a  television and busted the woman's phone, prompting her to run outside to seek  help, Watt said.

Dolak then set fire to the apartment and fled, leaving his son behind,  he said.

``He fled the location and left the 2-year-old there, basically to burn  to death,'' Watt told ABC7.

Firefighters and police were dispatched to the scene about 12:15 a.m. in  response to a report of a structure fire amid suspicious circumstances, Watt  said.

Firefighters rescued the boy, who paramedics rushed to an area hospital,  where he was treated for smoke inhalation and was in stable condition, Watt  said.

At about 2 a.m., Dolak allegedly set a fire to his mother's home in the  3200 block of Opal Street, near the school where he was later found, Watt said.

Police were in telephone contact with Dolak after his mother's home was  set ablaze, Watt said.

``He advised our officers that he was upset with his family, that he was  going to kill his family if they contacted him and if police were going to  contact him he was going to kill the police and he was going to do so every 20  minutes upon contact with us,'' Watt said.

Dolak was the subject of a restraining order protecting his former  girlfriend and over the past six years he had previous run-ins with Torrance  police, ``but it's been minor things, nothing to this extreme extent,'' Watt  said.

Dolak's sister Elizabeth said her brother had psychological problems.

'`He was depressed,'' she told NBC4. ``It seemed like everybody turned  their backs on him. I never wanted to see my brother dead, shot seven times.''

 

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