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Sergio Salazar, 53 [Updated]

Sergio Salazar, a 53-year-old Latino, died Monday, April 4, in the 13600 block of Dronfield Avenue in Sylmar, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Salazar, who critically wounded a Los Angeles police officer, was found dead Monday night inside his Sylmar home. He had been barricaded inside for nearly a day as authorities fired tear gas and used a hydraulic forklift to rip open the house.

The standoff, which began early Monday after officers responded to a domestic violence call, ended when Salazar's body was found on the second floor with a rifle at his side, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

An LAPD source said it was unclear how many wounds Salazar had sustained, however coroner's records show he was shot in the head.

Officers had responded to a call from Salazar's wife Sunday night, the LAPD said.

Officer Steve Jenkins was shot once in the jaw and once in the shoulder as he and his canine team approached the home. Salazar had refused to step out and opened fire on the officers, according to the LAPD. Officers returned fire.

Jenkins underwent surgery at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. The first bullet tore into the right side of his face and exited near his jaw, Dr. Bradley Roth said. The second bullet fractured several ribs and damaged a lung, Roth said.

About 6 a.m., the suspect communicated by text message with relatives, said LAPD spokesman Andy Neiman. Contact ended after that, he said. Negotiators repeatedly tried to call Salazar on his cellphone and home phone, to no avail.

Ed Winter, spokesman for the coroner's office, said it was unclear if Salazar sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he had been shot by an officer. His cause of death has been deferred pending additional tests that will not be available for several weeks, Winter said.

[Update Jan. 12, 2012: The coroner's office has since determined that the gunshot wound to the head was caused by authorities and the death was ruled a homicide.]

-- Andrew Blankstein and Gale Holland

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