Traffic Dispute Leads to Shooting

December 20, 2006

Los Angeles: An off-duty Los Angeles police detective was shot at on December 18, 2006, following a traffic dispute in Arleta. The detective returned fire, and the assailant was eventually captured.

The incident began around 4:30 PM when Detective Daniel Schmidt, 34, was driving his personal car near Arleta Avenue and Devonshire Street. Schmidt and the driver of a maroon Chevrolet Suburban argued after the driver of the SUV ran a red light, nearly hitting Schmidt’s car.

Occupants of the Suburban began throwing cans and bottles at Schmidt’s car. Schmidt called the Foothill Police Station as he followed the SUV.

Before uniformed police could arrive, the Suburban stopped mid-block near Pinney Street and Canterbury Avenue. As many as four or five men ran from the SUV. One man, John Robert, 30, fired one round at Detective Schmidt as he sat in his car. Detective Schmidt returned fire, but no one was injured in the exchange.

Police cordoned off the area and eventually captured Mr. Robert and two other passengers. The passengers were later released, but Robert was booked on a charge of Attempted Murder. Detectives found his gun, a .44 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver at sunrise the next morning in the flower nursery where several of the men hid from police.

The LAPD’s Force Investigation Division is investigating the incident. Detective Schmidt is assigned to the Foothill Police Station, and he has been with LAPD for over 10 years.