Man suspected of shooting LAPD officer is charged with attempted murder
A man suspected of firing on two Los Angeles police officers last week and striking a rookie officer in the leg was charged Wednesday with attempted murder, prosecutors said.
Ivan Castillo, 27, was charged with two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and two counts of assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.
Castillo was also charged with attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm on another man who was near the officers at the time of the shooting.
Castillo was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, prosecutors said. If convicted of the charges, they added, he faces up to life in prison.
The shooting happened Friday night, on Hartford Avenue near 7th Street in the city’s Westlake district. Officer Joy Park and her training officer were conducting an unrelated investigation when gunfire erupted, police said.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck — who described the shooting as an “unprovoked and cowardly attack” — said the officers were standing out in the open, backlit by the lights of their patrol vehicle, when they were fired upon.
The initial investigation indicated that a gunman fired multiple rounds from almost 500 feet away, Beck said shortly after the shooting.
“They were doing their job and were targeted for it by a coward,” the chief said.
The suspect — now identified as Castillo — ran as Park’s partner pulled the wounded officer to safety and called for help, Beck said. As other officers responded to the scene, witnesses pointed out Castillo, Beck said.
When confronted by police, Castillo let go of his weapon and was arrested without incident, the chief said.
Beck, fellow officers and others have visited Park at the hospital, with some — including Mayor Eric Garcetti — sharing pictures of the wounded officer on social media. Park graduated from the police academy in April.
On Monday, the LAPD tweeted a picture of Park in her hospital bed, giving the camera a thumbs up.
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