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LAPD Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing After Being Shot Over Van Nuys: Teen Suspect Danny Lopez in Custody

Update: City News Service reports that suspect Danny Anthony Lopez was hit today with two charges of attempted murder, two counts of assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic gun, and single counts of shooting at an occupied aircraft and being a gang member in possession of a loaded weapon.

Aircraft over L.A. have had trouble with idiots aiming their laser pointers at pilots. Now, cops say, someone shot at, and hit, an LAPD helicopter over the weekend.

After an officer on the ground reportedly saw smoke coming from the chopper, it made an emergency landing at Van Nuys Airport -- and nobody was hurt. The aircraft lost power but made it down safely.

The shooter, police say, was actually caught with the help of his family:

Eighteen-year-old Danny Lopez was held by family members as officers cuffed him. They said he was distraught over the death of a friend.

It all started about 6 a.m. Sunday when cops received calls of gunfire near Saticoy Street and Densmore Avenue, according to the LAPD. The air unit responded too, and police spotted a suspect -- ostensibly the person who inspired the original shots-fired call -- shooting at it, Capt. John Egan told KTLA News.


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The officers in the A-Star American Eurocopter were unharmed, but City News Service described the landing as "perilous:"

... It made an ``auto-rotation'' landing on the apron at a charter jet service, Clay Lacy Aviation, on the airport's east side. An auto-rotation landing means the pilot was able to steer only by using air passing through powerless blades, as the aircraft descended.

Lopez was caught shortly after 7 a.m., but police stayed in the area because they received another report of a gunman on the loose (seems possible to us it was the same suspect).

First posted at 8:01 a.m. on Monday, April 25.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.


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