Guards kill swordsman at celebrity Scientology centre

Other News Materials 24 November 2008 21:57 (UTC +04:00)

A security guard shot and killed a man wielding two samurai swords at the entrance to a Scientology centre in Los Angeles frequented by high-profile adherents such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday, dpa reported.

Police detained the guard for questioning but said that a surveillance tape at the facility backed his claim that he fired his semi-automatic handgun to protect himself and two colleagues.

"The evidence is very clear - the security officers were defending their safety," said Terry S Hara, deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. He said the would-be assailant was close enough to the guards to injure them had he not been shot.

Witnesses said that the unidentified man killed in the shooting arrived at the Scientology centre's parking lot in a red convertible and approached the guards waving the 1.5-metre swords when the shots were fired.

Police said he had been involved with the church in the past but did not give details of the relationship.