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Teams of SWAT members from the Los Angeles Police Department swarmed an apartment complex Sunday afternoon following a report of shots being fired at a passing vehicle convoy full of President Donald Trump supporters.
A woman who was driving past the pro-Trump caravan in the Woodland Hills neighborhood told authorities she heard what sounded like gunfire around 11:30 a.m. local time. Shortly thereafter, she told police she noted that one of her tires was flat.
LAPD officials said the tire was possibly damaged by a bullet, the Daily Mail reported.
A second witness told the LAPD that they saw someone with a gun standing on the balcony of an apartment nearby in the 20600 block of Ventura Boulevard.
Breaking: SWAT Called out in Woodland Hills after someone from an apartment on #VenturaBoulevard shoots at pro-Trump caravan of cars. Tire on vehicle was shot out. No injuries. Suspect barricaded in apartment, per LAPD. @KNX1070 pic.twitter.com/w5ait7kCqJ
— Emily Valdez, KNX 1070 (@EmilyValdezKNX) August 30, 2020
The possible ‘shots fired’ incident in the nation’s third-largest city came a day after a man who belonged to the Trump-supporting Patriot Prayer organization was gunned down on a Portland street. A witness and fellow member of the group who was with the victim at the time said the two were intentionally targeted after being identified by their hats.
LAPD officials said they’ve obtained a photo of a man holding a rifle on a balcony of the same apartment building identified by the witness. The style of rifle the man was holding isn’t clear, however.
SWAT teams set up outside the suspect’s apartment and attempted to draw the alleged shooter and two other people out around 3:30 p.m. after receiving reports the occupants had barricaded themselves inside.
But when cops entered the apartment about a half-hour later, they could not locate anyone inside. SWAT officers had set off a chemical irritant previously in an attempt to flush out the occupants.
Officers locked down the apartment complex and evacuated the nearest units in a continuing search for the shooter, the Daily Mail said.
In an interview with the L.A. Times, Deputy Chief Jorge Rodriguez said that the weapon used was not a “B.B.” gun.
“It was possibly a .22 caliber .25 caliber weapon based on the evidence at the car,” he said.
The LAPD noted further that earlier calls from residents noted that people were pelting the pro-Trump convoy with objects and that someone had brandished a firearm.
Officers said that otherwise, the event was largely peaceful, as most pro-Trump events are — until they are set upon by groups opposed to the president.
In a viral video, an unidentified member of the Patriot Prayer organization who says he was with Aaron Danielson, the individual gunned down in Portland Saturday night, recounted that the pair was recognized and targeted specifically because of their association with the group.
“So they identified our hats. ‘We got a couple of ‘em right here. We got a couple of ‘em right here. Pull it out. Pull it out,’” the man said, suggesting that someone following them take out a weapon.
‘They hunted us down’: Fellow Patriot Prayer member describes ‘execution’ of Trump supporter, calls on Trump to send ‘troops’ https://t.co/8ay3CgWunT
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 31, 2020
“We turned around — it didn’t even register that somebody was pointing a gun at us ’til the shots went off and he took off running,” he noted further.
Police in Portland are investigating a suspect possibly linked to the shooting named Michael Forest Reinoehl. The 48-year-old was previously arrested in Portland for carrying a firearm downtown during an earlier protest but was released.
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