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CHP officer shot after brief car pursuit

Two men are arrested after one allegedly opens fire as they jump out of a stolen vehicle and flee.

December 31, 2006|Jonathan Abrams | Times Staff Writer

A California Highway Patrol officer was shot early Saturday following a brief pursuit of two car theft suspects in the city of Industry.

The officer, who was not identified, was hospitalized in stable condition.

Several hours after the shooting, Armando Saucillo, 21, of Bell Gardens, and a 17-year-old boy were arrested and booked at the sheriff's station in Industry on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer. They were being held without bail, said Deputy Oscar Butao of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The incident occurred about 3:45 a.m. when two CHP officers tried to pull over a luxury SUV on the 605 Freeway near Whittier Boulevard, said CHP Officer Rick Quintero. The vehicle, which had been reported stolen, was traveling in excess of 100 mph northbound, authorities said.

Instead of pulling over, the driver tried to exit the freeway at Peck Road but hit the median, Quintero said.

The driver and a passenger jumped out and attempted to flee, and at least one of the men shot at the officers, authorities said.

"The pursuit lasted just a few minutes, then the car crashed and they opened fire," Quintero said.

One officer was shot in the lower torso, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening, authorities said. The other CHP officer was not hurt.

Scores of officers from neighboring police departments and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department scoured the largely warehouse area for the suspects.

One was found about 8 a.m. hiding in a warehouse close to the shooting scene. The other was found three hours later a couple of miles away, Quintero said.

jonathan.abrams@latimes.com

Times staff writer Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.

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