Local Gang member Shoots Officer

January 12, 2007

Los Angeles: A 13-year LAPD veteran was shot in the thigh when he and other officers were investigating a public tip about wanted, armed gang members returning to a house in the 14300 block of Nordoff Street in Panorama City.

The incident unfolded around 8 PM, when a local resident reported to officers that gang members had returned to the neighborhood house, where police had served a search warrant two days before on January 3. Jose Hernandez, 19, was suspected in an attempted murder of a rival gang member.

Police Officer Mark Wilbur, 37, and his partner spoke to the tipster near the house. The two officers waited for officers, Juliana Hascher and Robert Tamate, both 38, to arrive. Wilbur and his partner entered the house through an already opened back door, calling Hernandez by name. Someone fired gunshots through a closed bedroom door, striking Wilbur in the leg. Wilbur returned fire, wounding Hernandez in the arm.

At that moment, 20-year-old Alphoso Estrada bolted from the home through a bathroom window adjoining the bedroom. Officers Hascher and Tamate confronted Estrada, who grabbed for his waistband as he ran toward the officers leading to a second OIS. The officers arrested Estrada, who was unharmed.

Wilbur and his partner arrested Hernandez inside the bathroom, where they recovered a 9mm Lugar and a .25 caliber pistol discarded in the shower and toilet.

Officer Wilbur and Hernandez were treated at separate hospitals, and both are expected to recover from their wounds.

Hernandez and Estrada were charged with attempted murder on a police officer.

Officers Hascher and Tamate have 13 years with the LAPD. All the officers were assigned to patrol duties out of the Mission Police Station.

Force Investigation Division will completed the investigation into the incident.