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They Done Shot Him Handsome: Rodney King Gets it In the Face

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Rodney King, whose 1991 beating by Los Angeles police led to deadly rioting the next year, was shot on a street corner but his wounds were not believed to be life-threatening, police said Thursday.

King, 42, was hit in the face, arms, back and torso by birdshot fired from a shotgun. He was shot “possibly two or three times from a distance,” then bicycled about 1 1/2 miles back to his home in neighboring Rialto and called local police shortly after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Rialto police Sgt. Craig Crispin told The Associated Press.

King and others at the home appeared to be drunk and few cooperated with officers by providing information, Rialto police Sgt. Don Lewis told The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise.

King was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. His condition Thursday was not immediately known.

“They are non-life threatening wounds,” San Bernardino police Lt. Scott Paterson told the AP.

No arrests were made and other details of the shooting were sketchy.

There was “speculation” that the shooting may have involved some kind of domestic dispute but “we’re not sure about that yet,” Paterson said.

King, who is black, was videotaped being beaten by white Los Angeles police officers after he was stopped for speeding in 1991. Four officers were acquitted of most criminal charges in 1992, triggering rioting in Los Angeles and neighboring cities that left 55 people dead and caused $1 billion in property damage.

King sued the city over the beating and obtained a $3.8 million settlement.

However, he continued to have run-ins with the law. In 2004, he was ordered to spend 120 days in jail and ordered into treatment after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of the drug PCP after he lost control of his SUV in 2003 and slammed into a power pole in Rialto.

Rialto and San Bernardino are about 55 miles east of Los Angeles.


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