Los Angeles: A 10-year LAPD traffic officer was shot at as he approached a car he had stopped for speeding on Lassen Street near Tampa Avenue yesterday, February 9, 2006. The officer was not injured.
The incident began around 10:30 AM when an officer assigned to Valley Traffic Division was checking for speeders along Lassen Street, west of Tampa Avenue. A white Toyota Camry sped past the officer, who was working alone in a black-and-white police car. The officer quickly pulled over the Camry.
“The officer approached the car from the rear,” said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon. “He saw one man come up with a gun. The officer dived to the ground as several rounds were fired. The officer did not have a chance to fire back.”
The car sped off with its four male occupants, all Hispanic. The white, older-model Camry had a rear spoiler with primer spots.
The officer gave chase in his police car, but the Camry sped away out of sight. Police quickly established a cordon around the area, from Lassen Street, south past the Northridge Mall. The search was called off after several hours.
The officer was examined at Northridge Hospital as a precaution and was released in the afternoon.
Yesterday’s attack was the fifth unprovoked shooting at a police officer in the City of Los Angeles since the beginning of the year. Last week, an officer was shot at as he waited for back up during another traffic stop near Slauson Avenue and the Harbor Freeway. Two gang members were arrested in that case. Arrests were made in two of the three other incidents. In each of those cases, the suspects were gang members. Two assaults occurred in East Los Angeles last month, and an arrest was made in one of those cases.
Anyone with information is asked to call Robbery Homicide Division at 213-485-2129. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).