An alleged gang member was arrested this morning on suspicion of attempting to murder a Long Beach police officer who then returned fire before the gunman eluded a neighborhood lockdown March 18th, the police department announced.
Being held without bail at the Long Beach City Jail Thursday afternoon was Juan Carlos Vasquez, 24, of Long Beach, who is a gang member, Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Marlene Marrona stated in an e-mailed statement.
Vasquez was arrested at home of a family member in Wilmington, where the Long Beach Police Department's SWAT members served a search warrant, Marrona said. She declined to say what led officers to Vasquez or the home due to an "ongoing investigation."
About 6:30 p.m. Monday, someone reported suspected gang members "loitering" in the area of 8th Avenue and Maine Street in West Long Beach, and LBPD officers responded. As officers approached "a male Hispanic" member of the alleged gang members, he ran and the officer chased him.
The fleeing man fired several rounds from a handgun at a Long Beach police officer, who fired back. No one was wounded in the gunfire exchange but the SWAT team blocked off streets and searched the neighborhood, evacuating an unknown number of residents.
Read the original officer involved shooting story and follow here.
"Homicide Detectives worked diligently reviewing all the evidence and interviewing persons in the neighborhood. Through their efforts, detectives were able to identify a suspect," Marrona wrote in the press release.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Homicide Detectives Malcolm Evans or Todd Johnson at (562) 570-7244. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org