Toddler slain in police shootout had cocaine in system
Trace amounts blamed on second-hand smoke or milk
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A 19-month-old toddler killed in a gun battle between police and her father had trace amounts of cocaine in her urine, according to toxicological tests released Thursday.
The toddler, Suzie Marie Lopez, was killed last month by a bullet wound to her head by Los Angeles police after a failed rescue attempt by members of SWAT. Authorities said the toddler most likely ingested cocaine either by second hand smoke or possibly through breast milk.
"We found about 0.07 micrograms of cocaine per milliliter in her system and it had been there at least a couple of days," said Los Angeles coroner investigator David Smith.
More than 130 gunshots were exchanged between police and 34-year-old Jose Raul Pena, who barricaded himself in a small office room after taking the toddler hostage for 2 1/2 hours.
Crime scene photographs released last month showed cocaine residue scattered over Pena's office desk at his auto shop in the Watts section of Los Angeles. Autopsy results on Pena have not been completed, authorities said.
An attorney representing the toddler's family declined to comment on the report, saying he had not reviewed the autopsy report.
Last month's standoff began as a 911 disturbance call when Pena's estranged common law wife made a domestic terrorist report, accusing Pena of threatening her, his stepdaughter and the toddler, according to police.
When officers arrived on the scene, Pena began shooting at police, eventually unleashing 40 shots while police fired more than 100 rounds throughout the ordeal.
In earlier statements, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton blamed Pena solely for the death of the girl and found no evidence in the preliminary investigation that pointed to any criminal wrongdoing by police officers.
The autopsy report released earlier this week concluded the girl suffered two gunshot wounds by police, including one shot that blew out most of her brain.
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