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Robert Joseph Bandler, 75

Robert Joseph Bandler, a 75-year-old white man, was fatally shot by a Los Angeles police officer Sunday, Nov. 17, in the 1200 block of Stone Canyon Road in Bel-Air, according  to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Bandler allegedly confronted a utility worker checking out the smell of gas coming from the two-story home. The worker reported to police that he had been assaulted and threatened with a handgun, police said.

When officers arrived shortly before 3:30 a.m., Bandler displayed a handgun and refused to cooperate with police, LAPD spokesman Richard French said.

Police said that Bandler allegedly pointed a handgun at officers and refused their commands to drop it.  

“An officer-involved shooting then occurred,” French said. “He died of the gunshot wound.”

Several neighbors reported hearing only one shot. Bandler was pronounced dead at 3:53 a.m. at the scene, said coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter. An autopsy is pending.

Officers were familiar with Bandler because of the numerous calls to his home for odd behavior. He had a nickname: “Crazy Bob.”

He often wore fatigues and a military hat and once crashed a wedding across from his home. He sometimes ended conversations by saying “over and out” and played historic war speeches late at night, loud enough for neighbors to hear.

Neighbors in the area said that Bandler was not a violent person.

“He always was a strange man; he had things that he did,” said Norma Fink, 88. She added that he wasn’t “anyone that would hurt anybody.”

“I’m really sad about it. We all are,” she said.

--Ari Bloomekatz and Richard Winton

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