Santa Monica

Man Accused of Firing at LAPD Officers During Unrest

Detectives have made an arrest in a shooting near Santa Monica in which an officer was grazed with a bullet, a day after another officer was smashed in the head in the Fairfax District. 

A man who police said opened fire on a group of LAPD officers Sunday near the Santa Monica and Venice border, wounding one of them, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. 

Gabriel Estrada, 28, from Palmdale, was taken into custody by LAPD Robbery Homicide Division detectives late Wednesday and was being held in lieu of $4 million bail, booking records and multiple law enforcement sources told NBC News. 

A handgun was found during the investigation, the sources said. 

The shooting happened late Sunday near the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Rose Avenue. The officer, whose name has not been made public, was grazed in the leg or foot and limped to cover in the doorway of a restaurant, officials said. 

The officer was treated by paramedics and taken to a hospital.

Moments after she was struck a series of gunshots was heard by NBC News reporter P.J. Tobia, who was in the area covering the unrest and looting that followed a large street demonstration against police violence in Santa Monica. 

The evidence against Estrada had not been presented to prosecutors Friday. LA County Superior Court records showed an individual with the same name and date of birth had another unresolved criminal case that was filed in the Antelope Valley in December.

The sources told NBC News detectives had made much less progress in identifying the person who bashed a Southeast Division LAPD officer in the head Saturday night in the Fairfax District. 

The officer suffered a large skull fracture in the attack, in which the officer was struck repeatedly in the head by a person holding a brick, rock, or piece of concrete. The officer had removed his helmet after leaving the scene of a demonstration and was hit through the open window of a patrol car, the sources said.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said Wednesday the officer had been released from the hospital after having a steel plate installed to repair the damage. The surgical scar stretched from the top of the officer’s head to the top of his right ear.

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