UPDATED: West Covina police officer wounded in gunfight; gunman sought

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WEST COVINA >> A manhunt continued Saturday for a gunman who shot and wounded a West Covina police officer Friday night, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 11:20 p.m. along Yaleton Avenue, just north of Badillo Street.
“There is an officer down. He was struck by gunfire,” Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
The officer had approached the gunman as he rode a bike through the neighborhood, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The contact (led) to a gun fight between the officer and the suspect,” Schrader said. “At that time, the officer sustained a gunshot wound to the upper torso.”
0522_NWS_SGT-L-WCOISIt was unclear whether the assailant — later identified by sheriff’s investigators as 47-year-old Jose Louis Chavez, had been wounded in the exchange of gunfire.
Sheriff’s deputies, as well as officers from police agencies throughout the region rushed to the scene to help in a search for the suspect, who remained at large Saturday afternoon. Police K-9s, bloodhounds, helicopters and three SWAT teams joined in the search.
“We had help from pretty much every agency in the San Gabriel Valley,” West Covina Police Chief David Faulkner said.
Officials wound down their neighborhood search Saturday afternoon. The suspect remained at large.
Chavez is described as Latino, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 225 pounds, with his left eyebrow pierced, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. “He should be considered armed and dangerous.”

Suspect's bicycle on it's side on Yaleton Ave. a few yards north of Badillo St. in West Covina, Saturday, May 21, 2016. This was during a large manhunt for a suspect who shot a West Covina Police officer the night before. (Mike Mullen photo)

Suspect’s bicycle on its side on Yaleton Ave. a few yards north of Badillo St. in West Covina, Saturday, May 21, 2016. (Mike Mullen photo)

The wounded officer, a 9-year law enforcement veteran with more than an year on-duty with the West Covina Police Department, was expected to survive, Faulkner said.
The bullet struck the officer in the abdomen, beneath his bullet-proof vest, the chief said. It penetrated through the officer and exited his body.
Remarkably, “The round didn’t hit any of his major organs,” the chief said.
“At this point, certainly, I can say that God was on his side.”
Initial plans for emergency surgery were placed on hold, and possibly cancelled, after it was discovered the officer’s major organs were spared by the bullet, he said.
The officer was conscious, alert and in good spirits at a hospital Saturday, accompanied by family members, Faulkner said. His identity was not released.
“He’s experiences, respected and he did a great job under the circumstances,” Faulkner said of the wounded officer.
The chief also praised the work of officers and deputies in the aftermath of the shooting and thanked the community for an outpouring of support.
Further details, including a detailed suspect description, were not available.
Badillo Street remained shut down between Sunset and Orange avenues, as well as Sunset Avenue at Badillo Street, as the investigation and manhunt continued Saturday afternoon.
Anyone with information can reach sheriff’s homicide detectives, who are assisting West Covina police in the investigating, at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Man killed by police after stealing West Covina police car, leading cops on chase to Glendale identified


GLENDALE >> Authorities Wednesday released the identity of a man fatally shot by West Covina police after stealing a police car and leading officers on a wild chase that ended in Glendale as television news cameras broadcast the incident live.
Man killed by police after stealing West Covina police car, leading cops on chase to Glendale identified
Gevork Alachadzhyan, 45, of North Hollywood died at the scene of Sunday’s 10:30 p.m. officer-involved shooting in the 100 block of South Glendale Avenue, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
But sheriff’s homicide detectives, who are handling the officer-involved shooting investigation, placed a “security hold” on the case at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
The security hold prevents coroner’s officials from releasing any information about the case, Winter said.
The reason for detectives’ decision to block the release of information was unclear. The handling detective at the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau declined to discuss the case Wednesday.
In a recording of police radio traffic from the pursuit, the driver — later identified as Alachadzhyan — can be heard screaming, sometimes unintelligibly, into the microphone.
AUDIO: West Covina police radio recording
“I’d rather take the car,” the man yells at one point.
“The police are gonna kill me,” he continued.
West Covina police chased Alachadzhyan, who activated the stolen squad car’s emergency lights and sirens, at high speeds before using a PIT maneuver to spin the car out. News helicopters filmed as a police SUV smashed broadside into the stolen cruiser, pinning it.
“The officers saw the suspect making efforts to remove weapons positioned between the passenger and driver’s seat,” officials from the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. “Fearing the suspect was arming himself, both officers discharged their weapons.”
The suspect died at the scene, officials said. No officers were hurt.
Authorities said the suspect stole the West Covina police car after an officer responded to a call for service 200 block of Barranca Parkway in West Covina, but ultimately determined no crime had occurred, officials said.
The officer offered the man a ride to the east end of town, according to the statement.
Once the officer let the man out of the car, “the suspect ran to the driver’s door and assumed control of the vehicle,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
“The transporting officer attempted to regain control of the police vehicle. The suspect began driving with the officer near the driver’s side window, but the officer was unable to regain control of the police vehicle.”
Fellow officers soon spotted the stolen police vehicle and initiated the chase.
In addition to numerous convictions for petty theft, receiving stolen property, DUI and driving without a license, Alachadzhyan was convicted in 2013 of possession of a machine gun, being a felon in possession of a gun, drug possession and possession of drugs for sales, records show.
Other convictions include contempt of court and false impersonation of another, according to court records. At the time of Wednesday’s chase and fatal shooting, Alachadzhyan had a case pending against him on charges of hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license and driving without a valid license.

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Teens shot by off-duty LAPD lieutenant during alleged San Gabriel burglary in stable condition

8SAN GABRIEL >> Two teenage burglary suspects shot by an off-duty Los Angeles police lieutenant during a break-in at his home had been upgraded to stable condition at a hospital Friday as the investigation continued, authorities said.
The two wounded suspects, both 17, were ultimately arrested along with two other 17-year-old boys following the shooting, which took place about 10 a.m. at the off-duty officer’s home in the 600 block of Los Olivos Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eddie Hernandez said.
Both wounded suspects were hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday, the lieutenant said. “They are expected to survive their injuries.”
All four suspects were expected to face charges of burglary.
The off-duty officer was awakened by noises inside his home when he encountered two of the teenage burglars, sheriff’s officials said.
He armed himself with a non-department-issued 9mm pistol and encountered the two intruders, Hernandez said. They fled from the home through the kitchen window, which is also believed to be how they broke in.
The homeowner yelled through the window at the fleeing suspects to stop, Hernandez said.
“He saw one of the suspects reach for his waistband and turn towards him,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The off-duty officer fired at the suspect reaching for his waistband, striking both of the teens, Hernandez said. One was struck in the abdomen and leg, while the other was struck in the abdomen. Both continued fleeing.
One of the wounded teens was soon found and arrested nearby, officials said.
The second wounded suspect was brought to a hospital, along with another teen, shortly after the shooting, Hernandez said.
Another teen, who dropped the wounded teen and the other suspect off at the hospital, was found and taken into custody later in the day, Hernandez said.
No weapon linked to the suspects had been recovered Wednesday, he said.
It was not clear Wednesday whether the two suspects arrested after taking the wounded suspects to the hospital were present at the time of the burglary, Hernandez said.
Los Angeles police officials and sheriff’s investigators declined to release the name of the involved officer Wednesday.
Detective Meghan Aguilar described the off-duty officer as a lieutenant assigned to the LAPD’s Pacific division with 29 years of experience.
The lieutenant has been placed on administrative leave pending investigations by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, the LAPD and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, officials said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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West Covina police fatally shoot suspect in Glendale following chase in stolen police car


GLENDALE >> West Covina police shot and killed a man who stole a police car, then led officers on a pursuit that ended in Glendale late Sunday, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 10:30 p.m. in the 100 block of South Glendale Avenue, just south of Broadway, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, who are handling the investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting.
“The suspect, a male adult, was struck by gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
No officers were hurt in the incident.
In a drama broadcast by television helicopters, officers pursued the stolen cruiser with its lights flashing at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour until a police SUV crashed into its driver’s side door to bring it to a halt.
Further details were not immediately available.
— City News Service contributed to this report.

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UPDATED: Monterey Park attempted murder suspect wounded in gun battle with police officer in East L.A.


EAST LOS ANGELES >> Monterey Park police shot and wounded an attempted murder suspect during a gunfight in an East Los Angeles Wednesday, authorities said.
Monterey Park police Lt. Carrie Mazelin said officers located the suspect and the shooting occurred about 9:25 a.m. in the area of Woods Avenue and Escuela Street.
The suspect, a 34-year-old Monterey Park man, suffered a single gunshot wound to his torso and was expected to survive his wounds, according to Lt. John Corina of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is spearheading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting. He’s also suspected of shooting and wounding an active duty U.S. Marine outside a Monterey Park convenience store earlier in the week. His name was not available late Wednesday as he remained hospitalized.
OIS2No officers were hurt, but an officer’s patrol car was struck by gunfire, officials said.
Capt. Steve Katz of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said Monterey park officers were following up on the previous shooting when the shooting took place.
“There were involved in identifying and tracking down a violent criminal who had committed an attempted murder in their city,” Katz said.
A Monterey Park officer spotted the suspect riding a bike in the area of 4th Street and Woods Avenue, Corina said. The suspect pulled a handgun and began shooting at the officer.
The officer did not initially return fire for fear of collateral damage in a nearby residential neighborhood, Corina said. The officer followed the suspect as he headed south on Woods Avenue from 4th Street, still riding a bicycle.
As the suspect and officer approached Escuela Street, the suspect again began firing at the officer, the lieutenant said.
Corina said the officer then did shoot back, firing multiple shots through the windshield of his patrol car, Corina said.
One bullet struck the suspect in the abdomen, Corina said. He fell wounded and was quickly taken into custody.
The man was wanted in connection with a shooting that left a U.S. Marine who was on leave wounded outside a Monterey Park 7-Eleven store earlier this week.
The attack took place about 2:45 a.m. Sunday at the convenience store, 281 E. Pomona Blvd., along Monterey Park’s southern border, Monterey Park police Sgt. Dave Elliot said.
The victim and a friend arrived at the store and were confronted by a man in the parking lot, the sergeant said.
“Some words were exchanged when the suspect brandished a firearm and shot the victim one time,” Elliot said.
The victim, who was struck in the abdomen, was hospitalized, Elliot said. An update on his condition was not available.
Witnesses described the shooter as a Latino man in his 20s, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants, carrying a dark-colored handgun, Elliot said. “The suspect was seen fleeing the parking lot on a bicycle.”
Corina said the suspect had been acting belligerent and trying to start fights with other patrons as well before the Marine and his friend, a fellow Marine, arrived at the convenience store, Corina said. It was unclear whether the suspect was intoxicated at the time.
A revolver and bicycle recovered at the scene of Wednesday’s gunfight between the suspect and police officer were believed to be the same used in Sunday morning’s shooting, Corina said.
Anyone with information regarding Sunday’s shooting is asked to contact Monterey Park police Detective Han at 626-307-1246.
Anyone with information regarding Wednesday’s officer-involved shooting can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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VIDEO, PHOTO by Walt Mancini

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UPDATED: Suspect fatally shot, deputy struck by vehicle in Cerritos


CERRITOS >> Deputies fatally shot a man after he struck a sheriff’s deputy with a car at a Cerritos intersection Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The suspect, described only as a man, died at a hospital following the 5:14 p.m. deputy-involved shooting at Alondra Boulevard and Studebaker Road, just outside of Cerritos College, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The deputy, assigned to the sheriff’s Cerritos Station, was patrolling through the parking lot of a 7-Eleven when he saw a white Acura Integra parked near a gas pump and checked the car’s license plate, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. The car had been reported stolen in Whittier.
As the deputy approached the car, with the suspect sitting behind the wheel, he heard the engine start, officials said.
“At some point, the vehicle accelerated, struck the deputy, at which time, a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
The deputy was released from the hospital later in the day, officials said. The suspect, who succumbed to his injuries at a hospital, was not identified Wednesday.
Peter Serna, a student at nearby Cerritos College, said it appeared the deputy had the suspect pulled over before the shooting occurred. The deputy ordered the driver to get out of his car when the vehicle lunged forward.
“The man tried to strike the police officer with his car,” Serna said. “The officer fired five shots and then they tried performing CPR on the man.”
It appeared the suspect’s car struck the deputy’s hip or leg, Serna said.
California Highway Patrol officials shut down the Alondra Boulevard offramps from the 605 Freeway, as well as the westbound 91 Freeway connector road to the northbound 605 Freeway, as deputies continued their investigation Wednesday evening.
The fatal deputy-involved shooting took place one day after a man was shot to death in a suspected gang-related shooting at a 7-Eleven store at the same intersection, but across the city border in Norwalk, Lt. Victor Lewandowski of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The identity of Tuesday afternoon’s shooting victim was not released Wednesday.
Investigators described the killers as two Latino men in their late-teens to early-20s. Lewandowski said a dark-colored Chevrolet sedan and a white SUV-type vehicle were seen leaving the area following the gunfire.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Deputy struck by car, suspect shot by deputies in Paramount


PARAMOUNT >> Sheriff’s deputies shot and wounded a driver in Paramount as he struck a deputy with a car while a passenger brandished a handgun Saturday night, authorities said.
The deputy-involved shooting took place about 9:25 p.m. Saturday in a residential neighborhood along Somerset Boulevard, just north of Myrrh Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies assigned to the sheriff’s Lakewood Station spotted a speeding car and began following it, Deputy Lisa Jansen of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. The car, which contained three men, pulled halfway into driveway and came to a stop.
Deputies approached the car and saw the front passenger, a 34-year-old man, pointing a handgun at them, Jansen said.
“At the same time, the driver of the car started to back up, striking one of the deputies with the passenger’s side of the car. At that point, a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
The car sped off but quickly crashed into another vehicle, officials said. The driver, a 32-year-old man, and a rear passenger, a 24-year-old man, surrendered following the crash, Jansen said. The driver had been shot in the leg.
The front passenger who brandished the gun ran from the car, but ultimately surrendered to deputies as well. His gun was not recovered, Jansen said.
The wounded suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment. The deputy struck by the suspect’s car was treated at a hospital and had been released Sunday.
All three suspects were booked on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, Jansen said.
No further details were available.

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Officials: Man shot by deputies after reaching for gun in East L.A.


EAST LOS ANGELES >> Deputies shot and killed a 29-year-old man they say reached for a handgun during a traffic stop in East Los Angeles early Sunday morning.
The suspect, whose name was not released, died at the scene of the deputy-involved shooting, which took place just after 4 a.m. at Ferris Avenue and Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Deputies stopped the car to investigate the possibility it was stolen, according to the statement. As deputies encountered the front passenger of the car, “he became combative with the deputies, and a struggle ensued.”
Deputies saw the suspect reaching for a gun, the statement said. “Deputies gave several commands for the suspect to comply with their orders, however the suspect continued to struggle and refused to eschew his motion for his weapon. This resulted in a deputy-involved shooting.”
A .22-caliber revolver was recovered at the scene, officials said.
Two additional people inside of the car were detained for further investigation.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Three arrested after West Covina police chase, officer-involved shooting


WEST COVINA >> West Covina police arrested two men and a teenage girl early Saturday following chase in a stolen car and an officer-involved shooting in the unincorporated county area of South San Jose Hills in which no one was injured, officials said.
The series of events began at 3:12 a.m. when police tried to stop a 1994 Toyota Camry for a traffic violation in the area of Azusa Avenue and Amar Road, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
“Officers attempted to make a traffic stop on a motorist, who led them on a high-speed pursuit,” Patton said. In addition the driver, which was later determined to be stolen, a second man and a teenage girl also rode in the car as passengers.
The pursuit came to an end when the car pulled into a cul-de-sac near Gemini Street and Hambledon Avenue and stopped, the lieutenant said.
“The driver abruptly put the vehicle in reverse and used the vehicle in a ramming motion in an effort to pin our lead officer between his vehicle and the door of vehicle, Patton said.
The officer fired several rounds at the approaching car, which came to a halt. No one was struck by the gunfire.
But the driver still refused orders to surrender, Patton said. Officers ultimately took him into custody with the help of a police dog.
The other two suspects were arrested without a struggle, Patton said.
All three were accused of auto theft and resisting arrest, he said.
The driver, 18-year-old Raymond Elias of El Monte, was taken to a hospital for treatment before being booked into jail, is also accused of attempted murder of a police officer and evading police.

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West Covina police observe anniversary of fellow officer’s slaying

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WEST COVINA >> Police in West Covina are marking the anniversary of the death of a 29-year-old fellow officer who was killed in a shootout with an escaped psychiatric patient 38 years ago.
West Covina police Officer Jay Warren Jackson made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty on Jan. 14, 1978, West Covina police spokesman Rudy Lopez said. Officers will be wearing black bands over their badges in his honor throughout the day.
The officer had been in pursuit of a fleeing car down the eastbound 10 Freeway when the suspect exited at Holt Avenue and spun out, officials said. The driver jumped out of his car and hid behind as police approached.
“The suspect opened fire on responding officers and Officer Jackson as they approached the now disabled vehicle, Lopez said. “Officer Jackson was struck by gunfire and succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.”
Jackson’s name is one of three emblazoned on the West Covina Police Memorial, honoring police officers who died while serving West Covina. And like the other two fallen West Covina officers, a street sign marks the location of his slaying.
0114_NWS_SGT-L-JACKSON3Fellow officers shot and killed the suspect, who it was later learned had fled from a psychiatric facility and made threats of suicide to family and friends, according to Lopez.
Born in Pasadena on Nov. 7, 1948, Jackson was raised in West Covina. He joined the U.S. Army in 1968 and received an honorable discharge with the rank of sergeant four years later.
He married his wife, Patricia, in 1971 and the couple a daughter, Shauna, in 1973.
Jackson began his career with the Azusa Police Department in 1973, graduating the Rio Hondo Police Academy the following year. He joined the West Covina Police Department as a patrol officer in 1977.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Jackson is survived by his mother, Cora Jackson, and two sisters.

PHOTOS of fallen Officer Jay Warren Jackson, street sign, West Covina Police Memorial Courtesy of the West Covina Police Department.

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