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Anti-Gang Officers Arrest Suspect Only Minutes After Fatal Shooting

April 08, 2003|Jill Leovy | Times Staff Writer

Quick work by patrolling anti-gang officers led to the arrest of a suspect minutes after a man was shot and killed on a South Los Angeles street, authorities said Monday.

Police said Eddie Hicks, 35, was being held on $1.75-million bail as detectives prepared to seek first-degree murder charges against him in the killing of 21-year-old Donald Deshon Bonds on Friday night in the 400 block of East 107th Street.

The shooting occurred within half a block of two Los Angeles Police Department anti-gang officers, who were patrolling nearby because of a gang-related shooting hours earlier.

Officer Peter McCoy, 32, said he and his partner, Officer Ben Perez, 36, heard two shots, very loud and close, but could not tell where they came from.

As they drew nearer, McCoy said he saw a car stopped in the street with its lights on, a cluster of people on the sidewalk around a wounded victim, and the fleeing figure of a man about 30 yards in front of them.

"I just saw a glimpse: someone down, and someone running," McCoy said. "It was a lot to take in all at once."

McCoy and Perez made a split-second decision: Instead of waiting for backup, they plunged into the darkness after the fleeing man.

McCoy said he remembers feeling momentarily unnerved at the prospect of chasing a possible gunman in the dark, but concluded, "If you sit and wait, the guy gets away."

Hicks surrendered in the yard of a nearby home.

Homicide Det. Sal LaBarbera arrived at the scene to find a suspect already in custody, an unusually lucky break in a gang shooting, usually the hardest-to-solve cases because of reluctant witnesses and little evidence.

"It never really happens like this," McCoy said.

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