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Times coverage: Video footage contradicts federal marshal's testimony of a fatal shooting

This video frame from a surveillance camera shows a confrontation between off duty deputy U.S. Marshall Matthew Itkowitz, left, and Ryan Gonzalez March 5, 2008 in an alley off of Melrose Place. Gonzalez was shot and killed during the confrontation. This frame shows him being shot.

The Times' Column One article Nov. 10 was on a 2008 homicide case in which an off-duty federal marshal argued that he fatally shot a man in self-defense.

Reporter Scott Glover explores the death investigation and various witness accounts of what happened that fateful evening, as well as reveals surveillance camera footage that sheds light on the shooting.

Matthew Itkowitz, an off-duty deputy U.S. marshal, was being beaten and threatened with a gun in an alley off Melrose Avenue when, in fear for his life, he managed to draw his own weapon and fatally shoot his attacker.

At least, that's the story Itkowitz told Los Angeles police.

What really happened that night in the Fairfax district is less clear-cut. Witnesses' accounts of what happened before the shooting vary. But footage from a surveillance camera, which has never been made public, calls into question the deputy marshal's claim of self-defense. A copy of the tape was reviewed by The Times.

The footage of the March 5, 2008, encounter, coupled with other evidence from the scene, raises a disturbing possibility: that a drunk cop fatally shot a man in the back to settle a score.

Whether prosecutors see it that way is another matter.

Read more: Federal marshal's description of fatal shooting conflicts with video footage

Watch: View the video footage

Photo: This video frame from a surveillance camera shows a confrontation between off-duty Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Itkowitz, left, and Ryan Gonzalez on March 5, 2008, in an alley off Melrose Avenue. Gonzalez was shot and killed during the confrontation. This frame shows the muzzle flash from the first shot fired by Itkowitz.

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