Vargas: Gang members open fire on LAPD officers in dramatic in car camera video


Last week, the Los Angeles Police Department released car camera footage of a pursuit on May 20, 2018. Two officers came upon a stolen car near midnight cruising the streets of Highland Park. The officers called it in and it went downhill from there.

The vehicle took off and the pursuit was on. But this wasn’t your every day pursuit; this one turned crazy real quick. As the officers pursued the vehicle down neighborhood streets, the passenger leaned out the window and began firing a shotgun at the pursing officers.

The officers, not missing a beat, stayed in the game and continued to give chase. This, of course, runs contrary to every human instinct to avoid certain harm. Not willing to let themselves be cannon fodder, the officers exchanged gunfire with the suspects. The passenger officer leaned out the window and returned fire, striking the vehicle.


The suspects’ vehicle was located a few blocks from where the officers lost sight of them. The vehicle was damaged by gunfire. Screenshot from LAPD video.

At this point the officers hit a curb and a parked vehicle. I would guess it’s hard to drive when you’re trying to dodge shotgun blasts.

The officers quickly set up a perimeter. The suspect vehicle was found a few blocks away and both suspects were taken into custody. A sawed-off shotgun was found hidden in nearby bushes.

A shotgun was found nearby, hidden in some bushes. The shotgun casings matched those at the scene of the shooting. Screenshot from LAPD video.

The two suspects were taken into custody after an area search. Both were documented gang members and had prior felony convictions. Both suspects were charged with attempted murder of a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer.

A police officer never knows what the day is going to bring. Thankfully for these officers, they were uninjured by the gunfire and the accident.

Joe is a retired police captain. You can reach him at