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Los Angeles: On November 16, 2002, at approximately 1:00 a.m., two Los Angeles Police Department officers, assigned to Newton Area, were on patrol in the area of Central Avenue and 53rd Street when they heard a car alarm and observed two male Hispanic suspects, standing near a parked vehicle at the southwest corner of Central Avenue and 53rd Street. The officers negotiated a u-turn and observed the suspects run westbound on 53rd Street to a fenced vacant lot. The officers followed the suspects in their police vehicle. The officers observed the suspects climb the fence and run northbound through the lot. Officer Thompson, (Serial No. 33086, 33 years old, six years with the Department) exited the police vehicle and pursued the suspects on foot, through the vacant lot, as his partner drove the police vehicle around the block.
Officer Thompson observed the suspects cross 52nd Place and run northbound through the houses. He maintained radio contact with his partner, issuing him the suspects’ direction of travel. As the partner officer drove west on 52nd Street, he observed a white Lexus stopped in the alley between 52nd Street and 52nd Place. The partner officer observed the Lexus then accelerate south toward 52nd Place. He radioed Officer Thompson and warned him that the vehicle was speeding toward his location. Officer Thompson was standing on the north sidewalk in front of 1031 52nd Place when he observed the Lexus, occupied by multiple suspects, rapidly approaching. The Lexus struck a curb then stopped momentarily, apparently disabled. Officer Thompson drew his service pistol and approached the vehicle. He ordered the suspects to raise their hands. The Lexus suddenly accelerated and drove directly at Officer Thompson. Officer Thompson became fearful for his life and an officer-involved shooting occurred. The Lexus missed Officer Thompson and continued west on 52nd Place at a high rate of speed. Shortly thereafter, the Lexus collided with a tree at Avalon Boulevard and 52nd Street.
The two officers re-united and drove to the location of the collision. They observed four suspects injured and trapped in the Lexus. An additional suspect had been ejected from the vehicle and was lying on the sidewalk. The officers summoned paramedics and additional officers to the scene. The suspects were transported to local hospitals for treatment.
It was subsequently determined that four of the five suspects were juveniles. The fifth suspect, 20 year-old Miguel Solorzano was the driver of the Lexus. He sustained serious injuries as a result of the traffic collision and is in guarded condition. Two of the four juveniles died as a result of the injuries incurred from the traffic collision. Incidentally, one was struck in the knee, and the other in the hand, by gunfire. The other two male juvenile suspects are listed in serious condition as a result of their injuries from the traffic collision.
Solorzano was booked at USCMC Jail Ward for a violation of Section 245 of the Penal Code, Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Police Officer. None of the officers were injured.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing and is being handled by Robbery-Homicide and Critical Incident Investigation Divisions. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call detectives at 213-485-6475. On weekends and during off-hours, please call the Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL, 1-877-529-3855.
This release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace E. Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.