Los Angeles: A three-minute police pursuit ended with an exchange of gunfire yesterday, February 1, 2007, between a 19-year-old gang member and two LAPD patrol officers.
"The driver came out of the car shooting at the officers," said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "The officers returned fire and stopped the driver’s attack. More than one of the suspect’s rounds struck the driver’s door of the police car."
Detectives identified the gunman as Felipe Sanchez, a local gang member. Patrol officers Brian Brandt, 30, and his partner saw Sanchez driving a brown Oldsmobile Cutlass in Van Nuys. They tried to stop the car around 9:30 AM to determine if it was stolen. Sanchez began driving erratically and led two police cars on a three-minute chase to Friar Street and Kester Avenue.
Officers driving the pursuing police cars, Brandt and 47-year-old Alan Weiner fired at Sanchez after Sanchez began shooting. Sanchez was wounded in the ankle and the hip. He was treated at a local hospital and is expected to recover from his wounds. None of the four officers present were injured.
Detectives recovered Sanchez’s semi automatic handgun at the scene. He was already on parole for attempted murder and will face charges of attempted murder on a police officer.
Officer Weiner has been with LAPD for 18 years, and Brandt is a 4-year veteran.
This is the third time a gunman have shot at officers this year. Of the three incidents, two officers have been wounded. One officer was shot in the thigh on January 5, while investigating gang members in a house. The gang member shot through the door striking the officer. On January 22, another officer was shot while investigating an assault at an apartment near MacArthur Park. The handcuffed suspect was able to shoot the officer with a gun he had hidden among his baggy clothing.
As of February 1, 2007, officers have fired at suspects seven times in the immediate defense of life. There were only two officer-involved shootings for the same period last year.