LAPD on alert after surge in violence: 4 days, 16 shootings

LAPD on alert after surge in violence: 4 days, 16 shootings
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says violent crime is up so far this year. Above, police search for suspects after an officer-involved shooting in South L.A. last month. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Police Department is on a modified tactical alert after a spate of violence -- at least 16 shootings in four days -- that left several people injured, including a 13-year-old girl.

LAPD officers will remain in uniform and "continue their posture until we see some let-up."


The department's command staff has shifted more officers from other divisions to those in South L.A. – the Hollenbeck, Southeast, 77th and Newton divisions -- LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.

The alert comes after a particularly violent weekend in South L.A., Beck said at a Los Angeles Police Commission meeting.

Police responded to 10 shootings and investigated four homicides, which were mostly gang related, he said. There were at least six shootings on Monday and Tuesday. There were also two officer-involved shootings.

In one of those officer-involved shootings, police wounded  a man who had led them on a wild chase and carjacked a motorist.

Beck expressed concern about the uptick in crime and said the department planned to increase its presence in areas of South L.A. and would follow up with the mayor's office to ease any gang tension.

Since the start of 2015, Beck said, violent crimes and property crimes are up 10% over the same period last year.

Gang crime also is up, with gang-related assaults jumping by 25%.

For now, officers in the LAPD South Bureau must remain on the job after the recent shootings and a fatal hit-and-run crash left them stretched thin, Officer Liliana Preciado said. The move will allow officers more access to investigators as they remain on tactical alert.

Tuesday's violence began about 5:36 a.m. with a Boyle Heights shooting. People walking to work near Chicago and Sheridan streets found a man in his 20s suffering from a gunshot wound. Police say the man died at the scene. The shooting appeared to be gang-related.

Farther south, a motorcyclist was struck at 78th Street and Western Avenue by a driver who fled the scene. The rider was ejected from his motorcycle and run over by a second vehicle. The second driver stopped and helped the rider, police said.

The motorcyclist was taken to a hospital, where he died, Preciado said.

About an hour later, a series of shootings occurred within the South Bureau.

The first shooting was reported about 7 a.m. in the 9200 block of South Central Avenue, where a 13-year-old girl was shot in the leg while waiting at a bus stop, she said. She was taken to a local hospital. The bullet appeared to be a stray, and it has not been linked to any shooters. No arrests have been made.

Forty-five minutes later, detectives conducting a follow-up investigation encountered a man pointing a gun at another person in the 7200 block of South 10th Avenue, she said. Detectives engaged the gunman and an officer-involved shooting occurred.


The gunman was immediately taken into custody.

Ten minutes later, a gunman shot two people at Century Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue and fled in a black Audi with tinted windows, police said. The victims were taken to a hospital. Their conditions haven't been released.

Times staff writers Kate Mather and Richard Winton contributed to this report.

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