Gangmember Fires on Officers

April 16, 2007

Los Angeles: A man on a skateboard fired at two Los Angeles police officers Saturday night, April 14, 2007, after the officers stopped to speak to him.

Both officers returned fire, striking 30-year-old Javier Orantez Chavez, who died at the scene.

The incident occurred in the 3600 block of 30th Street around 8:40 PM.

Police officers Auston Price, 44, and his partner, Joseph Goosby, 29, are assigned to Metropolitan Division. They were patrolling the area due to recent incidents of violence between the Rolling 30’s gang and the Black P-Stones gang.

As the officers stopped their police car, Chavez jumped off his skateboard and ran between two houses. The officers followed on foot, as they turned a corner Chavez fired at them.

After the officers returned fire, they approached and found the gunman on the ground with a .357 Magnum revolver lying nearby. Paramedics pronounced Chavez dead at the scene.

Neither officer was injured in the exchange of gunfire.

During the autopsy Monday, detectives learned Chavez had been shot sometime in the past as X-rays of a healed wound showed a bullet still lodged in his right leg.

Chavez’s knuckles bore tattoos spelling out his gang, "MSX3," indicative of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, known also as MS-13.

In addition to the revolver, investigators found an expensive digital camera next to Chavez’s body. "Our initial impressions are that the camera may have been stolen from a car or home nearby," said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "Chavez has a record for burglary."

During the autopsy, examiners found Chavez was wearing a gun holster under his shirt, and possessed extra ammunition.

The incident marked the eighth time suspects have fired at LAPD officers this year, and it was the 21st officer-involved shooting to date. In all but four of the 21 officer-involved shootings, suspects have either pointed or fired guns at officers. Of the other four incidents, officers were attacked with knives twice, a metal bar, and an officer’s baton. Two officers have been wounded this year by gunmen.