Dangerous Vehicle Pursuit Ends with Suspect Killed and SWAT Officer Shot and Severely Injured NR14315SF

August 19, 2014

August 30, 2014


The officers involved in the below incident have been identified as Police Officer III Howard Ng, Serial No. 30405, Police Officer III James Gastelo, Serial No. 30509, Police Officer III John Ferraro, Serial No. 34769, Police Officer III Mario Rios, Serial No. 32123, Police Officer III Tim McCarthy, Serial No. 31238, Police Officer III Canaan Bodell, Serial No. 34688, Police Officer III Isaac Moreno, Serial No. 35866, Police Officer III Robert Gallegos, Serial No. 30619, Police Officer III Nelson Fong, Serial No. 30226, Police Officer III Cliff Chu, Serial No. 33547, Police Officer II Gabriel Holguin, Serial No.37182 and Police Officer II Michael Munjunkovick, Serial No. 37277 and Police Officer II Thomas Callian, Serial No. 38031

Officers Ng, Castelo, Ferraro, Rios, McCarthy, Bodell, Moreno, Gallegos, Fong and Chu. are assigned to Metropolitan Division.

Officers Holguin, Munjunkovick and Callian are assigned to 77th Division Area patrol.

Los Angeles:  On August 18, 2014, at 2:20 a.m., officers assigned to 77th Street Division saw a Gold colored, 2001 Chevy Tahoe SUV, driving recklessly in the area of Florence Avenue and Broadway.  When the officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the suspects drove away on surface streets, then onto the northbound 110 Freeway.

The suspect driving the SUV took the Vernon exit and stopped at the end of the off-ramp, then continued onto the northbound 110 Freeway on-ramp.  The suspect slowed the vehicle and the suspect riding as passenger of the Chevy Tahoe fired multiple rifle rounds at the pursuing officers.  The 77th officers returned fire.  The suspects then continued to drive onto the northbound 110 Freeway.

The suspects exited the freeway at Martin Luther King Boulevard and drove to the intersection of 37th and Hill Streets where the driver crashed the SUV.  The suspects exited the SUV; the passenger suspect once again began shooting at the officers who returned fire.  The suspects ran away to elude the pursuing officers.

Officers set up a perimeter and members from Metropolitan Division’s K9 Unit and SWAT Team were called in.  The first suspect was located in a dumpster behind 3701 South Grand Avenue and refused to surrender.  After a short stand-off, the first suspect was taken into custody without further incident.

Officers from K9 and SWAT located the second suspect in the 3700 block of South Grand Avenue.  After another exchange of gunfire, the second suspect was killed and one Metropolitan Officer was seriously wounded.

An assault-type rifle, with a pistol grip and a drum magazine was recovered at the scene of the firefight with the second suspect.

Preliminary Suspect information:
Suspect #1 Avel Jowen Turks, an 18-year-old resident of Corona, California, is being held in lieu of a $1,000,000 bail for Attempt Murder, Penal Code Section A187(A).

Suspect #2 (deceased) Male, 37-years-old

The investigation is being handled by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Force Investigation Division and Robbery Homicide Division.  The incident will also be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.  Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the Officer Involved Shooting (OIS.)  

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Force Investigation Division at (213) 486-5230, Robbery Homicide Division at (213) 486-6850, or the Office of the Inspector General at (213) 482-6833.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7(877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.