A group of customers at an Echo Park restaurant were joined at their table by an unexpected guest: a suspected gunman fleeing police. The 19-year-old man ran into Mohawk Bend and sat at a table with other diners after he had allegedly fired a gun during a dispute at a nearby liquor store shortly before 1 a.m., said Lt. Wes Buhrmester with the Rampart Division. The suspect had ditched a wrestling mask and jacket before trying to blend in with the other customers he had never met. “Act natural,” he told the other diners, according to a police report.
“Almost immediately afterward, officers entered, saw him and took him into custody without incident,” Burhmester said. “A citizen flagged down passing officers, and pointed out a pistol which was on the sidewalk in the 2100 block of West Sunset Blvd. It was seized as evidence, and discovered to be loaded.”
The incident began when patrol officers were flagged down at Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado by passersby reporting a male with a gun, wearing a wrestling-type mask, at the liquor store on the northwest corner. Buhrmester, in an email, recounts what happened next:
While officers were getting more information and requesting additional units, a shot was heard. A man wearing a wrestling mask, later identified as Roque Felipe, 19, Los Angeles, was seen running west on the sidewalk from the liquor store.”
The investigation revealed that Felipe was involved in a dispute with four people in front of the liquor store, and allegedly brandished and then fired the gun at them. A casing was found in front of the store. The persons who were allegedly fired upon fled, and could not be located or identified. We are still examining if the incident is gang-related. No one was hit by the shot, and officers located no bullet strikes. Felipe was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center for assault with a firearm and discharging it during the assault, with bail set at $100,000.