Juvenile Gang Member Shot by Police

July 19, 2007

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police officers encountered and stopped a shooting in progress Thursday evening on Venice Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

On July 18, 2007, around 9:45 p.m., Police Officer Harry Cho, 38, 10 years with the Department, and his partner, Officer Dennis Argueta, 36, one year with the Department, assigned to West Los Angeles Area Station, were on routine patrol driving westbound on Venice Boulevard approaching Cattaraugus Avenue.

The officers heard several gunshots, which drew their attention to a suspect who was firing a handgun into a crowd of people. When officers arrived, the suspect pointed his gun in their direction. Both officers fired their weapons.

The suspect, Victor Garcia, 14, of Los Angeles, sustained a gunshot wound and was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he later died. The suspect’s weapon, a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, was recovered at scene. Neither officer was injured.

The investigation later determined that Garcia was himself a documented gang member and that he had been shooting into a group of rival gang members. Two of his intended victims were injured by gunfire; their injuries were not life threatening.

Force Investigation Division personnel responded to the scene and are investigating the Officer-Involved-Shooting. Detectives from West Los Angeles Area are investigating the ADW on police officers committed by the suspect, as well as the shooting on rival gang members.

Anyone with information about the ADW on the police or other victims are asked to call 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).