Two teen-age boys suspected of car theft and attempted robbery were in custody Saturday after a shootout with undercover investigators in Van Nuys left one boy with a slight head wound, Los Angeles police said.
The shooting occurred at 1:30 a.m. in the 15500 block of Harland Avenue after a car and foot chase. The chase began when two auto-theft investigators attempted to arrest the boys, ages 15 and 17, on suspicion of robbing a convenience store, Officer Rick Dulgerian said.
Officers William Largey and Robert Arzuman had been watching the youths after spotting them driving separate cars that the officers believed might have been stolen, Dulgerian said. When the youths ran out of a convenience store at Woodley Avenue and Sherman Way and sped away in the cars, the officers called for patrol officers and attempted to pull the suspects over.
At Harland Avenue, one of the cars stopped, the 17-year-old jumped out and "hurried rapidly toward the officers' vehicle while raising a handgun," Dulgerian said. Arzuman fired three shots through his car's windshield at the approaching youth, grazing his head, Dulgerian said.
The boy turned and ran, firing his gun five times at the chasing officers before dropping it and escaping in an apartment complex, Dulgerian said. Neither officer was hurt.
Patrol officers stopped the other car and arrested the 15-year-old without incident. The 17-year-old was arrested after he sought aid at a medical center. The boys, who police said were unsuccessful in the store robbery attempt, were being held at Sylmar Juvenile Hall.