Los Angeles police released dashcam and bodycam footage on Tuesday showing its officers' handling of a gunman who opened fire on them from passenger seat of a stolen vehicle, ultimately prompting the police cruiser crash in Highland Park.
The incident unfolded as two officers spotted a Honda Civic that was reported stolen while patrolling the area of Figueroa Avenue and Avenue 52 just before midnight on May 20, according to Cmdr. Alan Hamilton.
Once the Civic's occupants realized they were being followed by police, the driver took off at a high rate of speed in an effort to evade them, Hamilton said.
The video and audio surrounding the encounter was cut into segments, with Hamilton providing narration, before being released on Tuesday. It was made public as part of a new policy the requires the department to release footage of incidents in which officers' use of force results in injury or death.
The dashcam footage opens as the light-colored Honda is speeding away from police, blowing through several stop signs as it winds through a residential neighborhood.
As the vehicle passes through an intersection lined with businesses and two gas stations, a man later identified as 24-year-old Andrew Guerrero leans out of the passenger window and is seen aiming a shotgun back at the police car. Police said he also fired at least one shot at that point, though it can't been seen in the grainy video, and there's no sound in this portion.
Sound is included in the portion LAPD shows next, in which the officers can be heard radioing for backup as the Honda continues to flee and run stop signs. At one point, about nine shots can be heard ringing out from the suspect vehicle.
The video then switches to bodycam footage from the officer driving the police car. The passenger officer, identified as Jenny Potts, can be heard returning fire with what Hamilton said is a pistol before she grabs a shotgun and continues to exchange bullets with Guerrero.
But then, as Potts is leaning out the window to aim, the police car strikes a curb and crashes near Avenue 50 and Aladama Street, ending the pursuit. Neither officer was injured in the crash or by gunfire.
Once additional officers responded to the scene, they were able to locate the Civic, unoccupied, a few blocks away from where the officers crashed, Hamilton said. A photo LAPD released shows the Honda with its back window blown out, at least four bullet holes in the trunk and another bullet hole in the windshield.
Not long after, two suspects were apprehended nearby. Daniel Alberto Salinas, 29, who authorities say was the driver, was transported for treatment of "superficial" bullet wounds before being booked, and Guerrero was arrested as well, Hamilton said.
A loaded, saw-off shotgun with a pistol grip was also recovered from bushes in the area, and several shotgun shells found discarded along the pursuit's route were consistent with ammunition in the gun, officials said.
Salinas and Guerrero were each charged May 23 with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, one count of shooting at an occupied vehicle and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Hamilton.
Salinas also faces charges of driving a stolen vehicle and felony evading a police officer, he added.
Police allege that both men are documented gang members with prior convictions that include weapons violations and vehicle theft.
Both defendants remain in custody and are due to appear in court July 26, inmate records show.
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