LAPD Helicopter Struck by Gunfire Over Van Nuys
An 18 year old Van Nuys resident was in custody just after 6:00 am on Easter Sunday morning after police received a call of the subject firing a gun into the air from his front lawn. As police officers arrived on scene, along with the Los Angeles Police Helicopter, the subject began shooting at the helicopter.
According to an L.A. Times report, officers on the ground witnessed the suspect firing at the helicopter. The suspect, Danny Lopez, was quickly tackled by his own family members preventing further violence. The helicopter, struck in the fuel tank, made an emergencly landing at near by Van Nuys Airport. The police pilot and tactical flight officer were uninjured, but confirmed that the helicopter was hit by rifle fire.
LAPD maintains one of the largest municipal police helicopter fleets in the world with the following helicopters; 12 Aerospatiale B-2 Astars, 4 Bell 206 Jet Rangers, 1 UH-1H "Huey" heliocpter, and 1 King Air 200 Fixed Wing. In the last few years LAPD returned to a more traditional black & white patrol car type paint sceme for their fleet of patrol helicopters.