An 18-year-old reputed gang member has been charged with shooting at a Los Angeles police patrol car as he and another suspect opened fire on a rival gang, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Prosecutors have charged Christopher Taylor with two counts each of shooting at an occupied vehicle and assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm, according to the L.A. County district attorney’s office. He also faces one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm as well as gang and gun allegations.
Taylor and a second shooter, who police are still looking for, allegedly opened fire on rival gang members traveling inside a car Sunday in the area of Hoover Street and Gage Avenue, prosecutors said.
At the same time, the LAPD patrol car from the 77th Street Division drove through the area as the car carrying the rival gang members sped away.
The LAPD vehicle was fired upon, prosecutors said. The officers didn't realize they had driven into a gang fight, officials said.
"They happened to get caught in the crossfire," said Jane Robison, district attorney spokeswoman. She said she did not know how many shots were fired at the patrol car.
LAPD Deputy Chief Bob Green said investigators were looking into all aspects of the shooting. Initially he had described the shooting as an ambush of the two police officers in the cruiser.
“We are no closer now than we were yesterday to determine intent,” he said.
After shots were fired, an LAPD officer returned fire at Taylor and the second man.
The officers, Taylor and the second man were not injured.
If Taylor is convicted of all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison.
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