Gunman in Manhattan Beach Police Shootout Charged With Attempted Murder of 4 Officers: DA

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Police officers stand by a building during a shootout in Manhattan Beach on April 7, 2019. (Credit: Kevin McCullough)

Police officers stand by a building during a shootout in Manhattan Beach on April 7, 2019. (Credit: Kevin McCullough)

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A man accused of opening fire at police at a Manhattan Beach shopping center on April 7 has been charged with attempted murder of four officers, prosecutors announced Monday.

James Louis Boyd III, 37, of Oceanside, pleaded not guilty to four counts each of attempted murder and assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Those charges are in addition to one count each of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence.

The Hawthorne Police Department previously misidentified the gunman as a Los Angeles  man with a similar name.

Around 9:30 a.m. on April 7, officers with the agency responded to a report of a man chasing a woman at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott on Aviation Boulevard.

Boyd had become involved in a dispute with his girlfriend, during which he fired a rifle into the air, the District Attorney’s Office said. When the officers arrived, Boyd allegedly shot at one of their patrol cars and broke a window.

Police followed Boyd as he ran toward a shopping center near the Rosecrans Avenue intersection, authorities said during the preliminary investigation. At some point, he opened fire and struck an officer in the leg, police said. That officer was transported to the hospital and was expected to recover.

Authorities also fired at Boyd and hit him in the torso, according to Hawthorne police. The District Attorney’s Office did not provide an update on his condition on Monday.

A witness managed to record several videos during the commotion, including footage of police dragging the downed officer on the side of a building and a person who matched police description of the gunman running on a sidewalk. The shootout prompted shoppers in the area to shelter in place as several officers from surrounding jurisdictions responded to the scene.

If convicted as charged, Boyd could be sentenced up to 100 years to life in state prison. Prosecutors said they requested bail to be set at $5 million.

He’s due back in court on May 2.

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