TORRANCE (CNS) - A 19-year-old man suspected of torching his mother's home after setting fire to an apartment where his 2-year-old son narrowly escaped was killed Thursday in an officer-involved shooting at a Torrance middle school, authorities said.
Asa James Dolak of Torrance, who had threatened to kill police officers and his family members, was armed with a knife when officers and detectives found him hiding about 1:30 p.m. inside a girls restroom at Madrona Middle School in the 21300 block of Madrona Avenue, Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt said.
The shooting occurred in a grassy area on the school grounds after Dolak ran from officers, refusing their commands for him to drop the weapon and surrender, Watt said, adding that Dolak was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators believe Dolak broke into his former girlfriend's apartment at a two-story, four-unit building in the 16700 block of South Crenshaw Boulevard following some kind of dispute with the woman, who is the mother of Dolak's 2-year-old son, Watt said.
He allegedly threatened his ex-girlfriend with a knife, punched out a television and busted the woman's phone, prompting her to run outside to seek help, Watt said.
Dolak then set fire to the apartment and fled, leaving his son behind, he said.
``He fled the location and left the 2-year-old there, basically to burn to death,'' Watt told ABC7.
Firefighters and police were dispatched to the scene about 12:15 a.m. in response to a report of a structure fire amid suspicious circumstances, Watt said.
Firefighters rescued the boy, who paramedics rushed to an area hospital, where he was treated for smoke inhalation and was in stable condition, Watt said.
At about 2 a.m., Dolak allegedly set a fire to his mother's home in the 3200 block of Opal Street, near the school where he was later found, Watt said.
Police were in telephone contact with Dolak after his mother's home was set ablaze, Watt said.
``He advised our officers that he was upset with his family, that he was going to kill his family if they contacted him and if police were going to contact him he was going to kill the police and he was going to do so every 20 minutes upon contact with us,'' Watt said.
Dolak was the subject of a restraining order protecting his former girlfriend and over the past six years he had previous run-ins with Torrance police, ``but it's been minor things, nothing to this extreme extent,'' Watt said.
Dolak's sister Elizabeth said her brother had psychological problems.
'`He was depressed,'' she told NBC4. ``It seemed like everybody turned their backs on him. I never wanted to see my brother dead, shot seven times.''