Los Angeles and Hawthorne police officers cleared of wrongdoing in 2017 gun battle with murder suspect who fired at them after pursuit

 In blog, Crime News: Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles and Hawthorne police officers cleared of wrongdoing in 2017 gun battle with murder suspect who fired at them after pursuit

by Nathaniel Percy

Seven police officers will not face charges for a shootout with an alleged murder suspect in Hawthorne two years ago, according to a report released by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

The gun battle, which occurred June 29, 2017 in the 360 complex near Hawthorne’s border with El Segundo, injured Qasim Knox, who was one of four suspects wanted in connection with a gang-related homicide in South Los Angeles about three months prior, authorities said.

Four Los Angeles Police Department officers and three Hawthorne police officers were involved in the shootout.

A Los Angeles police officer also was injured in the melee, which began after a pursuit that started in South Los Angeles.

Authorities had identified Knox as a suspect in the March 31, 2017 shooting death of Whitney Henry Yorke and began conducting surveillance on him in an attempt to apprehend him, authorities said.

Detectives believed Knox, a suspected gang member, was armed after seeing social media photos of him holding handguns.

A tracker was placed on Knox’s vehicle and detectives surrounded his home on June 29, authorities said. Officers observed Knox backing out of his driveway about 9:20 a.m. and, shortly thereafter, a pursuit was initiated.

Knox eventually pulled his vehicle over along Aviation Boulevard south of El Segundo Boulevard and attempted to run from his vehicle in the area of Aviation Boulevard south of El Segundo Boulevard.

One officer noticed Knox throw a firearm over an adjacent wall and then climb over and retrieve it.

As officers were pursuing on foot in the complex, Knox turned toward them and fired, initiating the gun battle.

Two Los Angeles police officers, two Los Angeles detectives and three Hawthorne officers were involved in the shooting. The LAPD officer who was injured was a roughly 20-year veteran who was struck in the hip, former Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference later that day.

Knox was seriously injured, but survived, authorities said. Police found two handguns in the bushes near where he was shot along Strand at Mission Avenue inside the complex.

The shooting broke up a peaceful morning for residents of the 360 complex, one of whom was nearly struck by a bullet that whizzed past him and struck his balcony as he was taking cell phone video of a police helicopter overhead, police said.

Knox is awaiting trial on 28 felony counts, including murder, seven counts of attempted murder and seven counts of assault on a peace officer, according to court records.

He was being held in jail on more than $8 million bail, according to jail records.

All credit goes to Nathaniel Percy
Originally published on https://www.dailynews.com

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