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News Release

Monday, September 12, 2005

Media Relations

Officer Shot by Gang Member

Los Angeles:  An LAPD gang officer was shot in the hand at half past midnight on Sunday, September 11, 2005, when he and two partners from the Northeast Police Station approached a man standing in front of a parked pickup truck near Locust Street and Jefferies Avenue.

The man, later identified as 37-year-old Alfredo Melendez, Jr., fired at the officers without warning or provocation.  A bullet struck Officer Thomas Deluccia's right hand.  Officer Juan Chavez returned fire, but Melendez escaped into the darkness.

Police contained the area in Cypress Park quickly and brought in SWAT and K-9 officers, who soon found the suspect's trail, which led to a handgun.  As the investigation progressed, detectives identified Melendez, who is a local gang member.

The containment lasted several hours into the morning and involved up to 50 officers.

Police are actively seeking Alfredo Melendez, who lives in Cypress Park.

Force Investigation Division is investigating the incident.  Representatives from the Inspector General's office and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office were present at the crime scene to observe the investigation.

Officer Deluccia is 34, and has been with LAPD for 7 years.  Officer Chavez is 32, and has been with LAPD for over 3 years.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Chief of Police William J. Bratton visited Officer Deluccia at Huntington Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Anyone with information on this investigation, especially the whereabouts of Alfredo Melendez, is asked to call Force Investigation Division at 213-202-5677.  On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).