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LAPD helicopter may have been fired on twice, police sources say

April 24, 2011 | 10:45 am

Suspect Arrested After Police Helicopter Targeted With Rifle, Leaks Fuel

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating reports that a police helicopter struck by gunfire Sunday morning was fired on by more than one group of suspects.

Police sources told The Times that a short time after the first shots hit the helicopter it appears more shots were fired, apparently from a different location.

The first round of 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, which had been on an early morning flight in the San Fernando Valley. At least one suspect, a 20-year-old man, has been arrested in the incident, which occurred at about 6 a.m. near Saticoy Street and Densmore Avenue.

Detectives believe the suspect also shot at officers on the ground using a rifle.


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Photo: Police gather near the shooting scene in Van Nuys. Credit: KTLA News