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Three officer-involved shootings in L.A. County this weekend

A suspected gang member is killed in Compton after allegedly pointing a gun at deputies, and two people are wounded in other incidents.

January 26, 2009|Ari B. Bloomekatz

Three officer-involved shootings in Los Angeles County left one man dead and two suspects injured this weekend, authorities said Sunday.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies shot and killed an alleged gang member Saturday night after confronting him outside a party in Compton. Gang enforcement officers on patrol near West 137th Street and South Wilmington Avenue saw one of two alleged gang members walking with a gun, said Deputy Oscar Butao. He said the two officers tried to get the men to stop and put down the weapon.

The armed man ran across the street, hid between two parked cars, turned and pointed the gun at officers, who fired and killed him, Butao said. A loaded handgun was recovered at the scene, he said.

Butao's version of events conflicted slightly with the news release distributed by the sheriff's department. It said that deputies tried to contact "several" gang members attending a party and that the deputies attempted to stop the men before they saw a weapon.

Torrance police were involved in a shooting Saturday night when officers attempted to detain three people, including two suspected of robbing a Marshall's department store on Hawthorne Boulevard and a third waiting in a nearby car, authorities said.

Police said Danisha Brown, 18, of Los Angeles and an unknown woman left the store with stolen goods at 8:23 p.m. and were confronted almost immediately by officers.

Brown was arrested on suspicion of robbery and burglary, while the other woman fled into the waiting car, driven by Delora Roberson, 38, of Los Angeles, police said. An officer told the two women to get out of the car, but Roberson accelerated and drove toward him, said Sgt. Bernard Anderson of the Torrance Police Department.

The officer was thrown onto the hood of the car and "carried several yards," according to police. While on the hood of the car, the officer shot at Roberson, striking her in the hand. The officer was thrown from the hood as the two suspects drove away, police said.

After more than an hour's search of a nearby area, police found Roberson and arrested her. She was charged with robbery, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. The third suspect has yet to be found, police said.

In Los Angeles, meanwhile, two men suspected of vandalism ran away from officers patrolling to enforce curfew violations about 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the Ramona Gardens public housing project just east of downtown, police said.

One of the suspects, later identified as Oscar Velasquez, 26, pulled a pistol-grip shotgun and began firing at officers near the 1500 block of Evergreen Avenue, police said.

One of the officers fired back, and Velasquez dropped the shotgun and continued running, according to authorities. A block away, he pulled out a handgun and shot at officers, who again returned fire, police said.

Velasquez discarded the handgun and kept running, police said, but was arrested near the Ramona Gardens recreation center.

Velasquez, who had been shot in the arm, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, police said.

Gilbert Garcia, 20, who police said was initially with Velasquez, was charged with violating a court order.

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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