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Man Charged in Sniper Attack on Police

A 22-year-old Van Nuys man was charged Monday in a sniper attack on two Los Angeles police officers in Panorama City last week that set off a search of the neighborhood and at one point was thought to involve stolen military weapons.

Cesar Gallegos, whom Los Angeles police identified as a Van Nuys street gang member, was being held without bail on two counts of attempted murder, officers said.

Gallegos was arrested Thursday--a day after the sniper attack--in connection with an unrelated stabbing, shooting and beating that happened nearby in June. Police said at the time that he was not connected to the sniper incident.

Officers Sonya Tiefenbacher and Ubaldo Zesati were issuing a traffic ticket in the 8500 block of Willis Avenue about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday when their patrol car was hit by a .38-caliber slug.

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The shot, fired from the roof of an apartment building, shattered a rear window of the patrol car but did not injure the officers.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Andrew W. Diamond said an informant told police that Gallegos had fired the shot from a handgun.

The shooting prompted police to cordon off a three-block area of the neighborhood, which has a history of gang violence.


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