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7 questioned after helicopter shooting

May 22, 2008 6:58:52 AM PDT
Seven people were questioned Thursday morning after a Los Angeles County Sheriff's helicopter made an unscheduled landing after being shot at twice.The chopper was searching for a robbery suspect in Torrance near Torrance Boulevard and Vermont Avenue late Wednesday night. The helicopter was orbiting 500 feet above ground with two deputies on board.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch Amy Powell's report from the scene.

"They described it as a thump," said Deputy Oscar Butao of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The pilot wasn't sure if he was being shot at, but was able to land safely at a sheriff's station on Avalon and found two bullet holes in the chopper -- one on the belly of the chopper and another on the tail.

Police searched the Harbor Gateway area for the shooter. Their search led them to a house on Milton Street and Berendo Avenue in West Carson, where police forcibly entered a house and held seven people for questioning. Police were unable to recover a weapon.

Neighbors said they heard gunshots, adding that gangs were a constant source of trouble in the area. "It's just the same 'ole guys right there thinking they're taking care of the neighborhood when they're really making it look bad," said neighbor Carlos Robles.

Police do not believe the robbery that started the incident had any connection to the shooting.

 

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