1 Dead, 1 Captured, LAPD Officer Wounded - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

1 Dead, 1 Captured, LAPD Officer Wounded

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A three-hour search for two gunmen who had fired at officers during a freeway pursuit ended in South L.A. today with one dead, one captured and an LAPD officer with a gunshot wound to the leg, authorities said. The freeway pursuit took place on the northbound Harbor (110) Freeway, where four lanes remained shut down at Slauson Avenue this morning as officers looked for evidence, including spent cartridges, authorities said. Northbound traffic was being diverted onto the two Express lanes, said California Highway Patrol Officer Francisco Villalobos. Officers also closed the onramps to the northbound freeway from Slauson Avenue to Exposition Boulevard. The freeway restrictions were continuing after 9 a.m., and it was unclear when they would be lifted, Villalobos said. The suspect who was captured in the three-hour search was blasted out of a Dumpster by a diversionary flash-bang grenade while the other was shot by officers in an exchange that left an officer with a leg wound, a deputy police chief told reporters at the scene.

Officers started pursuing a gray SUV "for reckless driving" at Slauson Avenue near the 110 Freeway around 2:20 a.m., said Sgt. Al Navarro of the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street Station. "Within minutes," two of the occupants started firing shots at officers, Navarro said. No officers were injured at that point. The SUV entered the northbound 110 Freeway with the officers in pursuit and exited at Vernon Avenue, Navarro said, adding that they ran off at 37th and Hill streets. The LAPD then established a perimeter and, within it, conducted a search involving patrol and SWAT officers, K-9 units and two helicopters, police said. After about three hours, one suspect was discovered hiding in a Dumpster, and surrendered without further incident after SWAT officers lobbed a flash-bang grenade inside the receptacle, LAPD Deputy Chief Bob Green said. A short time later, more gunfire broke out when the second gunman, who was armed with a rifle, engaged officers.

"They put the suspect down and during that gun battle one of our officers was hit. He sustained a significant leg wound," Green said. Officers from four stations were involved in the perimeter search. Because officers from other stations could have been called to cover for them, the LAPD declared a citywide tactical alert, Navarro said. A tactical alert allows commanders to keep officers on the job past the end of their shifts. After daybreak, the tactical alert was downgraded to involve only the LAPD's South Bureau.

LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith told Fox 11 that the suspect who wounded the officer was armed with a rifle that had a "drum magazine."

"There are many rounds that were fired, we're told," Smith said. "Right now, we're putting together crews to canvass some of those buildings, just to make sure that a stray round didn't go and injure or kill someone on one of the houses nearby."

The wounded officer, a SWAT team member and 22-year-veteran, suffered a wound to a calf muscle and was taken to a hospital for surgery, Fox11 reported.

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