LAPD Police Cruiser Struck by Bullet, Suspect Still on the Loose

A bullet struck a police cruiser in Eagle Rock
A bullet struck a police cruiser in Eagle Rock
Alex Schmidt

A day after a Los Angeles police cruiser was struck by a bullet on the 134 Freeway in Eagle Rock, police say the shooter's identity — and motive — remain unknown. 

No one was injured in the incident, and police did not return fire. 

"We’re still looking for the individual responsible for it," said Officer Mike Lopez, a spokesman for LAPD. 

According to police, at 3:15 a.m. on Sunday, two officers in a marked black-and-white SUV were responding to a "shots-fired" call at the Eagle Rock Recreation Center, at 1100 Eagle Vista Drive. 

The two police officers reported hearing a "thump" on their cruiser while they were near the corner of Figueroa Street and Eagle Vista Drive. When they got out to investigate, they saw a bullet hole in the back door, Lieutenant Chris Ramirez said. 

“This is an attempted murder of a police officer," LAPD Captain Phil Smith told KTLA Channel 5. "If people are willing to shoot at police, they are willing to shoot at anybody — that’s why we’re taking this quite seriously."

The LAPD closed two lanes of the 134 Freeway for several hours on Sunday morning, while they looked for the shooter and scoured the area for clues. 

Whether the officers in the patrol car were the intended target of the shooter or whether were hit by a stray bullet remains unclear, Lopez said. The police also are unsure if the shooter fired while on foot or from a vehicle. 

Neighbors did not hear a vehicle speed away at the time the round struck the cruiser, which led investigators to suspect the shooter was hiding in the area. At about 7 a.m., a SWAT team and other officers and police dogs from the Northeast Division fanned out and swept the area, with support from a police helicopter flying overhead. 

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One resident of the neighborhood, Dante Banta, told Fox 11 News that police searched door-to-door in his neighborhood. They came to his home to warn of a dangerous suspect and search his backyard, he said. 

At about 10 a.m., the helicopter flew away and the officers returned to the Northeast Division. Officer Lopez said he had received no update on the results of the police search for cameras that might have filmed the gunfire, or the use of metal detectors to scan the ground for bullet casings. He said the police have no suspects and no description of a suspect. 

He asked for anyone with any information on the incident to contact the LAPD's Northeast Division at 323-561-3211.


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