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2 Men Arrested in Valley Shooting Spree

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two suspected gang members went on a shooting spree early Sunday, injuring one person and firing at police during a two-mile chase that ended with their arrest, a Los Angeles police officer said.

Oscar Corona and Elmer Arriola, both 19 and from North Hollywood, are being held at Van Nuys Police Station on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer and other charges, LAPD Officer Mike Partain said. Bail is set at $200,000 each, he said.

Police said the incident began about 2:45 a.m. when two men, riding in a four-door Mercedes-Benz, shot Armando Fajardo, 29, of Pacoima as he stood on a sidewalk in the 10600 block of Kewen Avenue in Pacoima.

Fajardo was taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, where he was listed Sunday night in fair but stable condition with a gunshot wound to the right forearm, Partain said.

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About 20 minutes later, Corona and Arriola drove alongside Joseph Flores, who was southbound on Laurel Canyon Boulevard near Hart Street, and flashed gang signs at him, Partain said. Flores told police he heard a gunshot and tried to drive away from the men.

With the two men in pursuit, Flores drove east on Burbank Boulevard to the North Hollywood Police Station, Partain said. The two men allegedly fired two shots at Flores as he turned into the driveway.

Patrol officers saw the shooting and began to chase the men east on Burbank Boulevard, Partain said. Police said the suspects fired two shots at the patrol car near Beck Avenue and again as the pursuit proceeded north on Tujunga Avenue.

None of the officers was injured, Partain said.

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Corona and Arriola continued to drive for about two miles before stopping near the 7200 block of Ensign Avenue and fleeing on foot in different directions, police said.

“Initially, there was one squad car involved,” Partain said. “But, as the pursuit ensued, they were joined by a number of others.”

Police said they sealed the area and with help from an air unit found Corona, believed to be the shooter, at 10:30 a.m. hiding in an apartment in the area. Arriola was taken into custody later at his residence in the 8200 block of Vanscoy Avenue, police said.


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