"Officer Involved Shooting with Armed Robbery Suspects"
Los Angeles: On Sunday, January 19, 2003, at the request of Robbery Homicide Division/ Robbery Special Section, Detective Support Division/Special Investigative Section (DSD/SIS) was conducting a follow up investigation on an active group of armed robbery suspects. The suspects, described as three to four male Blacks, 20-26 years of age, began robbing major markets in the San Fernando Valley area beginning in October of 2002.
The robbery suspects armed with handguns, wearing hoods or ski masks, would enter markets and/or liquor stores with handguns drawn, pointed at customers and employees. The suspects demanded money from the registers and would force the store managers to open their safes.
On January 19, 2003 at approximately 5:00 PM DSD/SIS detectives, while conducting a follow-up investigation of a possible suspect, observed this suspect meet with two additional males at an apartment building in Reseda. At approximately 10:50 PM the three suspects drove to Hesperia Avenue and Newcastle Street in Reseda in two separate cars. At this time the original suspect parked a white Oldsmobile on the street and then entered a second vehicle (gray minivan) occupied by the other two male suspects.
All three suspects drove to the Ralph’s Market located at 18318 Van Owen Street. At approximately 11:30 PM the suspects parked the van in front of the market. Two suspects exited the van. One suspect was wearing a ski mask and the second suspect had pulled a white tee shirt over his lower face. Both suspects were armed with handguns. The third suspect remained in the van as a look-out driver. The suspects’ actions from the moment they parked the van until they entered the supermarket were so swift that they prohibited the detectives from safely interdicting the suspects prior to them entering the supermarket.
Once inside the market the suspects demanded and took money from the registers and ordered the manager to open the safe where more money was taken. The two suspects left the market and jumped into the waiting van driven by the third suspect. The suspects sped away. Detectives from DSG/SIS confirmed that a robbery had occurred while other detectives followed the suspects’ vehicle.
The detectives followed the suspects to the 6400 block of Hesperia Avenue where the suspects attempted to go to the white Oldsmobile previously parked there. When the suspects observed the detectives’ vehicles approaching one suspect fired at least one round at one of the undercover detectives. That detective, fearing for his life, fired at the suspect from his Department shotgun. It was unknown if the suspect was hit by the officer’s gunfire as he fled on foot southbound through the houses. A second suspect fled northbound and pointed his weapon in the direction of two additional undercover detectives. One of the detectives, fearing for his life and that of his partner officers, fired at the suspect with his Department shotgun and the second detective, fearing for his life and that of his partner officers, fired at the same suspect with his Department pistol.
It was unknown if that suspect was hit by the officers’ gunfire as he continued to flee the scene. The third suspect also fled on foot.
One of the suspects was caught immediately as he tried to flee the established perimeter. The second two suspects were caught with the aid of Department K-9 units and a Department helicopter outfitted with an infra-red camera system. Two handguns were recovered within the perimeter.
The suspects have been identified as:
Eddie Lee Nash 22 years of age resident of the West Valley area (Parolee)
Ryan Gandy 22 years of age resident of the West Valley area
Wylie Phillips 22 years of age resident of the West Valley area (Parolee)
Suspect Gandy was treated and released from a local hospital for a gunshot wound to his left shoulder. Suspect Phillips was treated and released for a minor bite from one of the Department K-9 search dogs. All three suspects have been booked at Van Nuys jail for Attempt Murder on a Police Officer.
No officers or market employees were injured during this incident.
The investigation of this incident is ongoing and is being conducted by the Department’s Critical Incident Investigation Division and Robbery Homicide Division.
For further information, contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.
This press release was prepared by Sergeant John Pasquariello, LAPD Media Relations Section.