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Originally published Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 7:20 AM

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Domestic-violence suspect fatally shot in Lakewood

A man is dead after either shooting himself or being shot by Lakewood police late Tuesday, according to a police spokesman.

A man is dead after either shooting himself or being shot by Lakewood police late Tuesday, according to a police spokesman.

Officers were called to a domestic dispute about 10 p.m. at a house on Rips Lane Southwest, according to Lt. Chris Lawler of the Lakewood Police Department.

They found a badly injured woman, 37, at the house, called for medical assistance and put out a broadcast alert for a car believed to be driven by the suspect in the abuse, Lawler said.

Lawler said the couple had been married but just finalized their divorce and argued over their strained relationship. While officers were at the house, the man, 35, called the woman and the phone was handed to one of the officers. The suspect told officers he was nearby and when officers said they wanted to talk to him he said, "It doesn't matter," and then he hung up, Lawler said.

The suspect then came back to the house and parked on the street.

Officers then heard a shot fired from inside the vehicle. Lawler said officers believed the shot may have been self-inflicted, but they couldn't see clearly inside the car.

Officers tried unsuccessfully to break into the car, and a SWAT team was called in, Lawler said. Police could see some movement inside and fired into the car. The man was shot by a member of the Lakewood Police Department, who fired three times into the vehicle.

Three children were taken out of the house to safety, and the woman was taken to a hospital for her injuries.

Police believe the man died of a self-inflicted gunshot, but further investigation will be needed to determine if he died from that shot or from a police bullet, Lawler said. The man died at the scene. A handgun was found in the car, Lawler said.

Lawler said police had responded to the home four times last year for domestic-violence calls. The victim had obtained a temporary no-contact order against the suspect that was dismissed in September.

The Lakewood officer involved in the shooting is a 14-year veteran. He is on paid administrative leave.

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