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Police: Officer shoots man who tried setting woman on fire

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - An officer fatally shot a man police say tried to set a woman on fire at a gas station.

Police Sgt. Joe Grubbs said the man was acting erratically before he took the handle of a gas pump from a customer and started spraying her and the ground around her with gasoline.

He used a lighter to try to start a fire, according to police.

The woman, who had kids in her car, didn't suffer any injuries.

Early Thursday, the Kern County coroner's office identified the man as 26-year-old Michael Laray Dozer.

Witnesses indicated that Dozer had been at the gas station for several hours before police were called. Police said witnesses told them Dozer was throwing outdoor furniture, striking a nearby fence with a metal object and yelling obscenities and screaming.

An officer, whose name was withheld, arrived within minutes of police being called. Dozer was armed with either a U-shaped bicycle lock or some other type of black metal object, according to police. Dozer ignored the officer's commands to get on the ground, police said.

Police said the officer fired once when Dozer was within 5 or 10 feet and "rapidly" approaching.

Roads around the gas station, at Brundage Lane and Mt. Vernon Avenue, were closed in the aftermath of the shooting. They've since reopened.

The officer was placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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