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Man charged with robbing pot shop, shooting at LAPD officers

July 10, 2013|By Andrew Blankstein
  • Approximate locations, shown in red, where two suspects first robbed a marijuana dispensary and later had a shootout with police at Tampa Avenue and Strathern Street.
Approximate locations, shown in red, where two suspects first robbed a… (Google Maps )

An Arizona man was charged Wednesday with more than a half-dozen felony counts, including the attempted murder of two LAPD officers during a gun battle, authorities said.

Kirkham Gastelum, 30, was also charged with robbery in connection with the holdup of a medical marijuana dispensary, two counts of second-degree robbery, one count of second-degree commercial burglary and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

He was expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Van Nuys. 

Prosecutors said they would ask the judge to set Gastelum's bail at $2.4 million. If convicted of all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.

A second suspect, Tyler Gilson, 23, also of Arizona, was arrested, but released after posting bail. Prosecutors said they expect to charge him in the case.

Both men are accused of robbing the pot shop in the 7300 block of Reseda Boulevard around 4:30 p.m. Monday and making off with marijuana and cash.

LAPD officers responded to the call and spotted two suspects fleeing in a black SUV. After a brief pursuit, Gastelum allegedly jumped out of the vehicle, and fired multiple times at police before attempting to hide in the surrounding neighborhood. Gilson allegedly crashed as he tried to drive away and was immediately arrested.

The windshield of the LAPD cruiser was struck by multiple rounds during the afternoon gun battle in which at least one officer returned fire, according to authorities. One officer received a minor injury to his hand, possibly from flying glass or metal, the LAPD said.

Officers immediately cordoned off the area and located Gastelum about three hours after the initial incident, police said.

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Twitter: @anblanx |Facebook | Google +

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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