Drive-by shooting suspect is arrested after crashing into cars

Suspected drive-by shooter causes a car wreck on skid row.

The suspect in a drive-by shooting in downtown Los Angeles was taken into custody Saturday afternoon after he crashed into two cars in front of a homeless shelter, police said.

The suspect, a man in his mid-50s, was driving a white van near 7th and San Pedro streets on the border of the Fashion District and skid row about 1:30 p.m. when he fired a handgun at a man on the sidewalk, striking him in the leg, said Los Angeles police Sgt. Ike Ornelas of Newton Station. The suspect then drove off, only to slam into two moving vehicles a half block away, Ornelas added.

The shooting victim and the two other drivers were taken by ambulance to a hospital for observation but were not thought to be seriously injured, Ornelas said. Police did not identify anyone involved in the incident.

Nash Baker, a free-lance video journalist with OnScene TV, said he arrived just before the suspect was detained and saw him limping away from a white van with an American flag on the side that was stuffed with belongings. Police removed a dog from the vehicle, Baker said.

The other cars, an Audi sports model and a Tahoe SUV, were banged up in the crash, Baker said.

Follow Gale Holland's coverage of homelessness @geholland.

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