North Hollywood Shootout
North Hollywood Shootout
CRIME SCENE: Botched L.A bank heist turns into bloody shootout
LOS ANGELES CNN A blaze of automatic gunfire ripped through a crowded neighborhood after several heavily armed gunmen dressed like commandos botched a bank robbery.
Two suspects were killed, and 15 people were injured, including 10 policemen. None of the injuries incurred during the hour-long shootout was life threatening, Los Angeles Police Chief Willie Williams said.
Initially outgunned, police responded to a scene in North Hollywood that resembled a combat zone. Bullets were flying from all directions into cars and buildings and bystanders, too.
More than 200 police were on hand for the siege, which lasted more than an hour. Armored personnel carriers and dozens of police cars, fire engines and ambulances were called to subdue the attackers and attend to the wounded.
Wearing body armor and carrying a trunk full of weapons, the robbers were ready for a fight. And thats exactly what they delivered, firing multiple hundreds of rounds, according to police.
They fired armor piercing bullets at anything that moved, and one suspect used a getaway car as a shield. Two suspects fought fiercely to the death, killed by helmeted police who fired bullets to the head at close range.
Police Cmdr. Tim McBride said he’d seen nothing like it since the Symbioses Liberation Army opened fire on LAPD officers in 1974, three months after members kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst.
One of the wounded officers was in serious condition, Williams said. Five have been treated and released from a hospital. One officer and one civilian were injured in a related car wreck.
Of the two suspects killed by police, one died of multiple gunshot wounds after he was captured. Police made several arrests in connection with the shooting, but the two dead gunmen are the only suspects known to be involved in the robbery attempt, Williams said.
The L.A. police chief, however, could not confirm that all of the suspects had been captured or accounted for.
After the shooting subsided, squads of helmeted police cordoned off entire blocks searching for suspects. Later Williams said were know of no other suspects. We’re not actively looking for anybody.
He added that police were combing through the crime scene to ensure it is safe for detectives.
At one home, police wrecked a shed with a battering ram attached to an armored personnel carrier hoping to find a suspect, but to no avail.
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