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Gunman Slightly Wounds 2 Officers in North Hills

Two undercover Los Angeles police vice sergeants, who may have been mistaken for gang members by a real gang member, suffered minor wounds when they were hit by shotgun fire in the North Hills area of the San Fernando Valley late Friday.

The officers had handcuffed a suspect on a sidewalk in the 15200 block of Rayen Street at Langdon Avenue shortly after 9 p.m. when they were confronted by a man with a shotgun, Deputy Police Chief Mark Kroeker told a news conference at the scene.

“It’s possible they were thought to be rival gang members” by the gunman, who “said something about gang affiliation, then quickly fired one round at close range, wounding both officers,” Kroeker said.

“They were totally surprised. They didn’t have a chance to respond.”

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One officer, hit in the arm, was treated by paramedics at the scene. The other, struck in the face near the eye, was taken to a hospital in Granada Hills, he said. “The wounds are minor. They’re in good shape,” Kroeker added.

The two officers were identified by Kroeker as Brad Kubela and Frank Flores.

The gunman ran away. A SWAT team later surrounded a building where it was believed the gunman had hidden, Kroeker said. Kroeker would not say where the building was.

Police cordoned off about six blocks between the San Diego Freeway and Sepulveda Boulevard, Nordhoff and Parthenia Streets. Officers halted cars passing through the area and questioned occupants.

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The suspect the officers had handcuffed remained in custody, Kroeker said.

The area, made up of apartments and commercial buildings, is known for widespread drug sales and gang activity, Kroeker said.


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