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2 officers, suspect, bystander hit by gunfire

May 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A hit-and-run escalated into a shoot out, and two officers, a suspect and a bystander were shot in El Monte.El Monte police arrived on the scene of a hit-and-run around 4:30 p.m. Friday. The victim, a man driving a white van, was at the scene at Durfee and Elliott avenues to provide information to the officers. Minutes later, the suspect who fled the scene returned in his vehicle. When officers asked him to get out of the car, the suspect refused and that's when the shooting started.

"He produced a handgun and started firing at the officers and the officers returned fire," said L.A. County Sheriff's Department Lt. Mike Rosson.

The suspect fired several rounds, striking one officer in the arm and the other officer in the thigh. The victim of the hit-and-run was shot in the right ankle. Police managed to fire back and they struck the suspect in the left arm and shoulder.

Relentlessly trying to away, the suspect drove off a second time , heading southbound on Durfee, where about a quarter mile down the road, he rammed into an El Monte police car on his way to the first scene. The officer in that vehicle received minor injuries.

It doesn't end there. The suspect got out of his vehicle and pulled a brazen move.

"He tried to carjack a family that was parked at the local parking lot right there," described Rosson. "He broke the window of the vehicle. That gentleman victim, who happened to be very large man, came out of the car and defended himself."

Authorities say the suspect used his fist the break the windshield of the family's car with two small children in the back seat. The officer at the second scene got out of the rammed vehicle, Tasered the suspect and took him into custody.

The chaotic scenes at the two locations occurred at the height of the afternoon rush at the start of a holiday weekend. It tied up traffic in all directions for hours.

Police recovered the suspect's handgun from his vehicle. The suspect's identity has not been released, and police say that he might have had a female passenger in the car with him who fled the scene.

The suspect is under police custody. The hit-and-run victim was treated then released from the hospital. The two injured police officers were still being treated at 11 p.m. Friday, but their injuries are not considered to be life threatening.

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