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L.A. Officers Fire Shots in Four Incidents

One man is killed, another wounded in spate of police shootings. Two juveniles die after their fleeing car crashes into a tree.

November 17, 2002|Anthony McCartney | Special to The Times

Los Angeles police officers fired their weapons at suspects in four separate incidents Friday night and early Saturday. The incidents left one man dead, another wounded and two juveniles dead after their fleeing car crashed into a tree, authorities said.

The shootings, which are under routine investigation, occurred over a nine-hour period and involved officers with at least five years of experience. No officers were injured.

In Wilmington, an unidentified man was shot and killed on a cul-de-sac after he rammed his pickup truck into a police car several times about 7 p.m. Friday, police said. The officers, who shielded themselves behind the car's doors while they tried to get the man to surrender, fired on the truck on Robidoux Street until it stopped.

Police said officers had pursued the man after watching what they believed was a drug buy. He died at the scene.

At 9 p.m., two Wilshire Division officers shot at a suspect fleeing an apartment carport near Kingsley Drive and 5th Street where a 59-year-old man had been shot. Officers said that while they were arresting Jose Rivera, 26, on suspicion of attempted murder, they heard another pair of shots from the carport and saw a man running.

Officers said Armando Villatoro, 21, pointed a gun at them as he fled. They fired at him, but he turned a corner and escaped, police said.

Villatoro, who was hit several times, turned up at his sister's Van Nuys home, authorities said. Police arrived as Villatoro was being put into an ambulance.

Both Villatoro and the man police believe he shot, Yong Kap Kim, remained in serious condition Saturday.

At 1 a.m., officers patrolling near Central Avenue and 53rd Street in South Los Angeles saw two young men who they believed were stealing a car. The men ran but were soon spotted by the officers with three others in a white Lexus, police said.

Authorities said the car's driver tried to run over one of the officers, who then fired into the car.

The car missed the officer but crashed at a nearby intersection. Two of the car's passengers, both underage, died as a result of the crash, police said. They had been shot in the knee and hand. Two of the surviving passengers were also juveniles.

The driver, Miguel Solorzano, 20, was admitted to the jail ward at County-USC Medical Center in Los Angeles and charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.

The final incident occurred at 4 a.m. as officers were leaving the Southeast Division station near Broadway and 108th Street.

The officers witnessed a shooting and were then fired at when they intervened, officials said. One of the officers fired back, but no one was hit and the suspect fled, police said.

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