A man accused of opening fire on two officers in the lobby of the Los Angeles Police Department's West Traffic Division -- and who was wounded in the ensuing shootout -- died today at a hospital.
Daniel Christoph Yealu, 29, died shortly before 3 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to Ed Winter of the coroner's office.
The shooting occurred about 8 p.m. April 7, when Yealu allegedly walked into the lobby of the building at 4861 Venice Blvd., spoke with an officer inside and then pulled out a semi-automatic weapon and opened fire. A meeting of the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council was being held in the building at the time.
An officer who was wounded and his female partner both returned fire. The injured officer was hospitalized, but was later released. His partner was not wounded.
Three days after the shooting, Yealu was charged with two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, charges that included gun allegations.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Yealu was carrying a Glock pistol with extra magazines.
"He (Yealu) went into the police station not only with his Glock ... pistol, but also with extra magazines, so the officers' response clearly saved not only their own lives but the lives of community members," Beck said.
A bullet hit the wounded officer's backup handgun, which he was carrying in his front pocket, Beck said.
"It is an amazing, an amazing story, that he would be here with us," Beck said. "He was struck twice in the shoulder ... and he took a round that would have gone through his femur and maybe his femoral artery ... but that round was stopped by his backup weapon that he had in his pocket."
Beck displayed the officer's backup handgun and its holster, both of which were damaged.
Outside the complex, which also houses the LAPD's Wilshire Station, police found what Beck described as a "heavily modified" AK-47 semi-automatic rifle in Yealu's parked car.
A further search of Yealu's apartment in Palms revealed what Beck called an "armament" of weapons, including an assault rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun and a large amount of ammunition, police said.
Yealu had applied to join the LAPD in 2009, but was rejected.
--City News Service