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Cop narrowly escapes gunfire before shooting suspect, police say

April 19, 2012 | 12:52 pm

A murder suspect shot by Long Beach police fired two rounds, hitting the windshield of a patrol car and narrowly missing the officer sitting in the vehicle, authorities said

A murder suspect shot by Long Beach police fired two rounds, hitting the windshield of a patrol car and narrowly missing the officer sitting in the vehicle, authorities said.

Long Beach police said they shot the suspect after he killed another man and fired at the police cruiser early Thursday morning on Pacific Coast Highway.

A man in his 30s was on the sidewalk of Pacific Avenue when the gunman shot him, striking him in the upper body, police said. A patrol officer in the area heard the shots and drove to the scene, where he spotted the suspect walking away, officials said.

The suspect, a man in his 60s, fired at least two rounds at the officer, said Officer Lisa Massacani. One shot hit the windshield of the patrol car and another round hit the hood, narrowly missing the officer who was still in the car, she said.

He returned fire, wounding the suspect, she said.

Both the suspect and the man he allegedly shot were taken to the hospital in critical condition, officials said, but the victim was pronounced dead several hours later. Massacani said the motive for the shooting is unknown and that an investigation is underway.

The identity of the victim and the suspect are being withheld due to the ongoing investigation and pending notification of the victim's next of kin, she said.

In addition to the Long Beach Police Department's investigation, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office will be conducting an independent probe of the incident, officials said.

Anyone who may have information regarding this case is urged to contact Long Beach police homicide detectives Terri Hubert or Mark Bigel at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted via text or web by visiting www.tipsoft.com.

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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Authorities said a suspect fired at least two rounds at a Long Beach police officer, hitting the windshield and hood of his patrol car. Credit: Long Beach Police Department

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