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Man charged with 15 felonies in deadly gun battle with LAPD

CrimeHomicide
Man charged with 15 felonies in run-and-gun battle with LAPD in South Los Angeles
18-year-old charged with 15 felonies, including attempted murder on an officer, after deadly South L.A. chase

A man found hiding in a dumpster after multiple shootouts with police through the streets of Los Angeles has been charged with 15 felonies, including attempted murder and assault of an officer.

Avel Jowan Turks, 18, of Los Angeles, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon on six counts of attempted murder on a peace officer, six counts of using an assault weapon on an officer, and one count each of shooting at an occupied vehicle, evading police and possession for sale of cocaine base.

Turks was arrested early Monday after a dramatic run-and-gun battle with police through the streets and freeways of South L.A.

Police said the confrontation started near Florence Avenue and Broadway about 2:20 a.m., when police tried to pull over the driver of a Chevy Tahoe for reckless driving.

The SUV sped off, police said, leading officers along surface streets before heading onto the 110 Freeway. The Tahoe briefly got off the freeway before stopping on the Vernon Avenue onramp, where a gunman got out of the passenger seat and traded fire with LAPD officers, police said.

After speeding off again, the assailants got off the freeway at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and drove east into an industrial area near USC and crashed into a curb at 37th and Hill streets, Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.

The two men ran from the car and hid as police searched the neighborhood. Officers set up a perimeter and called in two helicopters, a SWAT team and police dogs, he said.

About two hours after the chase began, a police dog found Turks in a dumpster. Officers lobbed a flash grenade to stun him and used pepper spray to subdue him and take him into custody. Prosecutors on Wednesday will request his bail be increased to $4.1 million.

The second man in the chase – identified as Andre Maurice Jones, 37, of Los Angeles – was found carrying a rifle about a block away on Grand Avenue between 38th and 37th streets.

The department's SWAT team used one of its two BearCat armored vehicles, a $150,000 rescue vehicle bought in 2003, to shield them as they approached Jones.

Smith said Jones peppered the BearCat with bullets, striking a SWAT officer, before he was killed by return fire, Smith said.

"Thank goodness we had that armored vehicle as a shield because a regular police cruiser would have been Swiss cheese," Smith said.

The bullet that struck the officer shattered a bone in his left leg and blew out a section of his calf – a serious injury that will take months to heal and potentially ended his career, officials said.

The rifle Jones was wielding is "rare," Smith said, and was modified with a plastic stock, assault rifle pistol grip and a high-capacity drum magazine.

Turks faces life in prison if convicted on all charges.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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