Anthony Dwain Lee

Anthony Dwain Lee

Overview
Anthony Dwain Lee was an African-American actor. His acting career spanned from the 1980s up to his death in 2000. His killing garnered significant national and international media attention. Lee was shot and killed by LAPD
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

 officer Terriel Hopper under mysterious circumstances during a Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

 party.

Answering a so-called "routine" alleged noise complaint call led two LAPD officers to a Halloween party underway in affluent Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

.
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Encyclopedia
Anthony Dwain Lee was an African-American actor. His acting career spanned from the 1980s up to his death in 2000. His killing garnered significant national and international media attention. Lee was shot and killed by LAPD
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

 officer Terriel Hopper under mysterious circumstances during a Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

 party.

Death


Answering a so-called "routine" alleged noise complaint call led two LAPD officers to a Halloween party underway in affluent Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

. The two responding officers where greeted by security hired for the party.

The security guard went to bring the resident hosting the party to the officers waiting in the kitchen. One officer, three year LAPD Officer Terriell Hopper, left the kitchen and walked outside of the house into the back yard. While walking along an exterior walkway behind the house, Hopper looked inside a room and saw what he believed to be a narcotics transaction. Hooper shined his police flashlight through a glass door.

Three party-goers occupied the room, standing together talking. Lee, in the room with his back to the glass door, allegedly turned to face the shining light and directly pointed his replica gun at Hopper. The officer emptied his service pistol
Pistol
When distinguished as a subset of handguns, a pistol is a handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel, as opposed to a revolver, wherein the chamber is separate from the barrel as a revolving cylinder. Typically, pistols have an effective range of about 100 feet.-History:The pistol...

 into the room within two seconds, firing through the glass door. Of the nine rounds fired, four struck Lee, two in the back, one in his heart and one in the back of his head, killing him instantly.

The resulting police investigation concluded that the shooting was a justified reaction by the officer, who believed the costume gun to be real. One proposed scenario maintains that Lee pointed the prop at the officer, whose first five rounds missed, giving Lee time to turn around and attempt to run, resulting in the gunshots sustained to the back of his body. Other police experts say turning would have been impossible in the 2 seconds it takes to pull off nine rounds and leaves it open to speculate the shots were fired directly into the back of Lee's body initially.

The police account of the shooting was upheld by a witness present at the scene, Eric Schuberg. Schuberg stated to police that he was with Lee in a rear bedroom when Lee pulled a gun (now known to be a replica) and pointed it at a window. Schubeg believed the gun to be real, and was threatened by it. Another witness, William Frey, confirmed the account, but stated that he did not see Lee raise the replica weapon all the way up to the window.

Hopper was cleared by the LAPD shooting review board, the civilian police commission, and the LA County District Attorney's Office. The LA Coroner's Office performed an autopsy on Lee, which found alcohol and cocaine in his system. The details of the alleged narcotics sale are unknown, but Lee was alleged to have extacsy pills in his hand after being shot.

Initially, the specifics of the killing were said to be unknown. A wrongful death suit was brought by Johnny Cochran against the LAPD for 100 million dollars on the behalf of Lee's sister and only living immediate relative. An out-of-court settlement awarded $225,000 to Lee's sole sibling, Tina Lee-Vogt. The settlement came as a stymied court case lost momentum when Johnnie Cochran's team could not locate security guards from the party to give testimony. Lee is survived by his former wife, Serena Scholl, who did not sue, though a case stood in her favor as well as Lee-Vogt's. Both Lee's parents, Frances Lee and Willard Lee, were deceased prior to Lee's killing.

The story was featured on CBS News, "48 Hours / Mystery" two years after the killing http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/23/48hours/main526691.shtml and was widely discussed in both print and online media for years. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/EDITORIAL+QUESTIONS+UNANSWERED-a083403735

Career


Lee performed as an actor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a regional repertory theatre in Ashland, Oregon, United States. The festival annually produces eleven plays on three stages during a season that lasts from February to October...

 where he met his former wife, actress Serena Scholl, and myriad other theatrical appearances throughout Oregon, California, Washington and Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is the largest city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the 28th most populous city in the United States and 39th most populous region in the United States. It is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. According to 2010 census data, the...

 before moving to Los Angeles in 1994. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19931014&slug=1725921 Lee was also a playwright.

He appeared as a hospital patient in a 2000 episode of ER, "Rescue Me". The episode is dedicated to him.

Lee was deeply loved and respected by all who worked with him or knew him. There were four memorial services in his honor across the United States; one of them in Seattle, Washington. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20001031&slug=4050624

Personal life


Lee grew up in Sacramento, CA, where he sold drugs as a member of the Crips
Crips
The Crips are a primarily, but not exclusively, African American gang. They were founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1969 mainly by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams...

 street gang. He turned to acting after being stabbed in the back during a fight.

Lee practiced Nichiren Buddhism
Nichiren Buddhism
Nichiren Buddhism is a branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren...

 with SGi (Soka Gakkai International), along with his wife, from 1986 until his death. http://www.sgi.org/ A memorial service in his honor was held at SGi, Los Angeles Friendship Center, a Nichiren Buddhist community center in west Los Angeles, counted among the four memorials held in Seattle, Washington; Sacramento, California and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

While married, Lee was brother-in-law to R. Orlando Duenas, feature picture editor whose credits include What Lies Beneath
What Lies Beneath
What Lies Beneath is a 2000 American supernatural horror-thriller film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It stars veteran actors Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as a well-to-do couple who experience a strange haunting that uncovers secrets about their past....

, Cast Away
Cast Away
Cast Away is a 2000 drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific. The film depicts his successful attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane's cargo, as well as his...

and Polar Express. http://movies.nytimes.com/person/320995/R-Orlando-Duenas

External links