Los Angeles: On December 26, 2002, at approximately 11:35 p.m., Pacific Area Patrol officers heard gunshots and responded to the vicinity of 7th Street and Vernon Avenue. The officers immediately responded to the location and came upon the aftermath of a drive-by shooting and observed the suspects’ vehicle, a 2000 dark green Nissan Maxima flee from the scene. After securing assistance for the victim of the shooting, the officers followed the suspects and requested backup units.
The suspects stopped their vehicle at Ashwood Avenue and Appleton Way. The front passenger suspect exited the vehicle with a shotgun and began firing at the officers. The officers, who were uninjured, stopped their vehicle, requested help and took cover. The passenger suspect entered the vehicle and drove off. Additional units, including Pacific Area Special Enforcement Unit uniformed officers Roseanne Lia, 36 years of age, seven years with the Department and David Bambrick, 31 years of age, five years with the Department, pursued the suspects’ vehicle.
The suspects drove onto the eastbound 90 Freeway then suddenly swerved to the right shoulder and stopped. One of the suspects exited the vehicle and fled over the freeway embankment. The two remaining suspects fled in the Nissan. The suspects transitioned to the northbound 405 Freeway then exited at the Culver Boulevard off-ramp.
The suspects drove north on Sawtelle Boulevard, failed to complete a westbound turn onto Braddock Drive and collided with a wall. The suspects then fled from the vehicle on foot.
A suspect, subsequently identified as Gustavo Perez, male Hispanic, 21 years of age, ran west on Braddock Drive then north in an alley adjacent to and west of the 405 Freeway. Officers Lia and Bambrick pursued Perez in their vehicle as responding officers established a perimeter to contain the two other suspects. As Perez reached an alley at Barman Street, he ran west across a lawn on the south side of the street. Perez suddenly stopped a short distance from the officers’ vehicle, turned toward the officers and placed his hands into his front waistband. Having no time to stop and deploy and believing Perez was arming himself and about to shoot at the officers, Officer Bambrick accelerated the police vehicle and struck Perez, knocking him to the ground.
Perez immediately stood up and began running west on Barman Street. Officer Bambrick drew his service pistol and Officer Lia deployed their shotgun. The officers exited the vehicle and pursued Perez. Perez turned toward Officer Lia and placed his hand in his front waistband. Officer Lia, believing Perez was arming himself and about to shoot at the officers, fired one round at Perez from the shotgun. Perez turned and continued running westbound on Barman Street. As Perez reached Purdue Avenue, he again turned toward Officer Lia and placed his hand in his front waistband. Officer Lia, again fearing Perez was arming himself and about to shoot at the officers, fired a second round at Perez from the shotgun. Perez ceased running and was taken into custody without further incident. He was not injured by the officer’s gunfire. He was unarmed at the time of the officer involved shooting. A shotgun and a handgun were recovered in the vicinity of Appleton Way and Ashwood Avenue.
The two additional suspects, subsequently identified as Marcos DeLaTrinidad, a male Hispanic, 21 years of age and Juan Leon, a male Hispanic, 19 years of age, were apprehended by responding K-9 units. They received medical treatment for dog bites. Perez received medical treatment for minor injuries sustained being struck by the police vehicle. All suspects were booked at Pacific Jail for Attempt Murder on Police Officers.
The victim of the drive-by shooting at 7th Street and Vernon Avenue was admitted to a local hospital in serious condition with multiple gunshot wounds.
This press release was prepared by Sergeant John Pasquariello, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.