An accused gang member was charged on Tuesday with firing on two Los Angeles police officers in their squad car, an incident that followed the fatal shooting of two policemen in New York and prompted the LAPD to issue a citywide tactical alert.
Christopher Taylor, 18, was charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle, assault on a peace officer and assault with a semi-automatic firearm, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say Taylor and a second suspect, who was not identified by authorities, are accused of opening fire on rival gang members who were traveling in a car through a south Los Angeles intersection on Sunday.
An LAPD patrol car that drove through the area with two officers inside was also fired upon, prosecutors say. One of the officers returned fire at Taylor and the second suspect but no one was injured in the exchange.
Taylor was expected to make an initial court appearance later on Tuesday. Prosecutors were asking that he be held in lieu of $2 million bail.
The shooting took place as law-enforcement officers around the country were on edge in the aftermath of a New York City ambush earlier this month in which two policemen were shot to death as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn.
The LAPD issued a citywide tactical alert, allowing commanders to keep officers on duty beyond their shifts, and a perimeter was established around several city blocks as police swarmed the area to search for the perpetrators.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)