The officer was driving his personal vehicle near 12th and Gaffey streets at about 2:15 a.m. when he witnessed a drive-by shooting, said LAPD Officer Mike Lopez. The officer followed the suspect's sport utility vehicle, Lopez said, while trying to call 911.
The SUV stopped about a mile away, near the intersection of Santa Cruz Street and Cabrillo Avenue, at which point the suspect fired at the officer, Lopez said. The officer returned fire, Lopez said, but the SUV ultimately sped west on Santa Cruz Street.
Several rounds hit the officer's vehicle, but the officer was not injured, Lopez said. It was not clear if the officer's gunfire struck the suspect.
Police had no further description of the suspect.
Homicide detectives were investigating the initial drive-by shooting, which left one man dead, Lopez said. His name has not yet been released by coroner's officials.
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