LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles man pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges that he tried to kill two officers at LAPD’s Harbor Station in San Pedro last month.
Jose Cerpa Guzman, 29, is charged with two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, as well as one count each of second-degree robbery, evading and resisting a police officer.
Guzman is being held on $2.2 million bail. He faces a potential life sentence if convicted as charged.
It is unclear how the suspect got inside the Harbor Station due to current coronavirus restrictions, but LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the door may have been left cracked open.
Once he gained access, he approached and things quickly escalated before turning violent.
The police officer fell to the ground and the suspect was able to grab hold of his gun, and then proceeded to repeatedly hit the officer in the head with it.
Moore said Guzman then pointed the gun at the officer’s chest but, for an unknown reason, the gun did not fire. Shortly after, a watch commander came out and began firing on the suspect.
The watch commander does not sit directly behind the front desk at the Harbor Station, which may be the cause of the delay in response, Moore said.
Craig Lally of the LA Police Protective League said he believes this man was looking to hurt an officer, and would have found another way in even if the door was secured.
“It’s very disturbing, it’s sickening to me,” said Lally. ” I’m going on 40 years next year, and I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve never seen the amount of attacks on police officers. Not only in L.A., but across the country.”