A 25-year-old man with a criminal record was charged today with opening fire on Anaheim police with a machine gun during a chase.
Lorenzo Armenta Jr. pleaded not guilty Friday to single counts each of assault with a machine gun on a peace officer, discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling and evading a peace officer-reckless driving, all felonies, as well as single misdemeanor counts each of possession of a firearm with a prior misdemeanor conviction and brandishing a weapon. He also faces sentencing enhancement allegations for the personal use of an assault weapon.
Police were called at 11 p.m. Tuesday about a suspect in an alley in the 200 block of East Wakefield Avenue brandishing a rifle at passersby, said Anaheim Police Department Sgt. Shane Carringer. The suspect left before police arrived, but the department's helicopter located him driving away, Carringer said.
Police tried to stop him and Armenta momentarily yielded before accelerating and leading police on a chase on local streets at speeds nearing 100 mph, Carringer said. Along the way, Armenta allegedly tossed the weapon, but not before opening fire on his pursuers with the AR-15, Carringer said.
Armenta became trapped in a cul de sac in the 200 block of South Elders Street as officers blocked his path out with squad cars, Carringer said. Still, the suspect tried to drive over lawns and sidewalks to get away, prompting police to call in a SWAT armored vehicle, which halted his path and led to another hour of negotiation to get Armenta out of the car, Carringer said.
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