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Helicopter sniping incident ends; no second suspect found


Police found no second armed man at the site of a sniping incident Sunday that damaged an LAPD helicopter, forcing it to land at Van Nuys Airport.

At least one suspect, a 20-year-old man, has been arrested in the incident, which occurred about 6 a.m. near Saticoy Street and Densmore Avenue.

The suspicion that a second armed man may have been involved came after police had arrested the first suspect, who had been firing shots randomly and then directed his gunfire at a responding helicopter.  Residents reported a second armed man in a nearby building.

The original shooter was subdued by his family and taken into custody by police.

The earlier shots hit the fuel tank, causing fuel to leak and the helicopter to make an emergency landing.

"This situation could have easily turned tragic, and we were just fortunate that the aircraft was able to land safely without injury to the officers or the public," Asst. Chief Earl Paysinger said. "It's ironic that it happened on Easter Sunday. Someone divine was watching over us."

There were no immediate reports of injuries to officers aboard the copter. 

At least one apartment building was evacuated, and some residents were waiting in a nearby school auditorium. Portions of Densmore and Saticoy could remain closed for several hours as authorities work to apprehend the second suspect. It was not known if the two suspects knew each other.

"Anyone that resides in the area, we suggest they stay out," said Det. Sgt. Gus Villanueva, an LAPD spokesman.

Resident Irene Garcia, 43, was sleeping when she awoke to the sound of gunfire. She and her family had planned to attend church and then celebrate Easter at her sister's home. Instead, Garcia had to evacuate her apartment building along with her husband, daughter and 20-month-old grandson.

"We're waiting to see if we can go back to get his Easter basket and clothes," Garcia said as she stood outside in the chilly air.

The incident ended about 2:45 p.m., and residents were allowed back into the area.


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Photo: An LAPD officer carries out the search for a suspected second gunman in the shooting of a police helicopter. Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / For The Times

Comments () | Archives (18)

Attempted murder. Life without parole.

Thankfully everyone escaped uninjured.

I fell so much safer with all these nutjobs running amok while using their so-called right to bear arms.


Have no fear... Only criminals in LA are allowed their "right to bear arms", so you are STILL safe!

As is the case with 99% of gun crime, this took place in a big city where no one is allowed to LEGALLY own a gun, yet people still routinely, and easily, acquire them to fire at cops.

Feel free to keep towing that party line though. Im sure it makes you feel really enlightened and self-important.

What a loser.

Godspeed officers.


Hey Bright Boy-

Out in Northern Virginia, the courts issue CCW's with no problems. We also have a very, vary low crime rate and don't have helos fling around 24/7.

Says something about the population density of Los Angeles and the nuts that live there.

After the next quake, just clear the land away and don't re-build.

Ah yes, another one competing for title of NRA Poster Boy.

reminds me of that movie SWAT

When, oh when are we going to make guns illegal?

The NRA will say guns do not kill people; but, crazy people with guns, do.

'Asst. Chief Earl Paysinger said. "It's ironic that it happened on Easter Sunday. Someone divine was watching over us."'

That not irony. Just sayin'

I like it when someone stands up for us. So, he shot at a gang member and hit their fuel tank. It is ok with me. When one is in a gang, things like this are going to happen. Like they say, when one lives by the gun, one dies by the gun.

Rocco's on the right track. Lock them up and throw the key away.
Happy Easter folks!

Are we sure it wasn't the pilot who shot himself and blamed it on someone else??
That seems to be the official LAPD way.....LOL LOL LOL

WHO, what, when where, why, and how. By 3 pm, surely we could have a name.

Nutjobs will be what they are right to bear arms or not gun control really doesn't stop a person who really wants an illegal firearm from getting one kinda like addicts will always find a dealer as long as there is a market for it people will sell it ...just thankful no body was hurt and yes gun control is necessary it helps track down the guns that are sold to whom ect...without the legal purchase of firearms you would never have info on any of the weapons

My question is: What is the immigration status of the perp? That is a big illegal alien community.

Next question: Does the Second Amendment to apply to illegals?

Very low crime rate in northern Virginia. You ARE funny!

You flatter the perp by calling him a "sniper". It implies training and discipline that he obviously lacks. The guy is a "gunman" who took a "potshot" at the helicopter.


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