Teenager arrested after allegedly firing rifle on New Year's Eve

An 18-year-old Huntington Park man was arrested on suspicion of firing a rifle into the air on New Year's Eve, police said.

A caller initially alerted police to the gunfire, reporting a man firing a weapon in an alley in the 7000 block of Marbrisa Avenue, according to the Huntington Park Police Department.


Responding officers saw the suspect standing in a group of people and witnessed him shoot into the air, police said. The man -- identified by police as Andrew Figueroa -- was arrested and the rifle was confiscated.

Figueroa was booked on suspicion of willful discharge of a firearm and gross negligence, Huntington Park police Lt. Neal Mongan said.

Officers did not locate anyone injured by the gunfire, Mongan said, but the investigation is ongoing.

Mongan said the case has been presented to the Los Angeles district attorney's office for possible charges.

Law enforcement agencies across California issued repeated warnings to revelers before Wednesday, reminding people that firing a gun into the air is a felony offense punishable by prison time.

In Highland Park, a man was struck in the head by what investigators believe was celebratory gunfire, Los Angeles police said. The man was standing in the 6800 block of North Figueroa Street shortly after midnight when he was hit by something that "fell from the sky," LAPD Officer Gregory Baek said.

"He was basically standing in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Sgt. Juan Campos of the LAPD's Northeast Station. "They believe it's more shrapnel than anything -- just skimmed, not a direct hit."

The man underwent surgery at a hospital, where doctors recovered a bullet fragment from the top of his head, police said. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Los Angeles police and sheriff's officials have not released how many incidents they responded to over the holiday involving celebratory gunfire. But Mongan said Huntington Park police received only one report -- the one that ended with the arrest.

"It's a great percentage," he joked. "But I wonder whether or not everybody did call.

"Often times people are used to hearing [gunfire] on New Year's Eve or on some other holidays and they just expect it and maybe they don't call," he continued. "But it's important that people take this seriously, because it can be dangerous."



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