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Four suspects have been charged with attempted murder of an officer; shots were fired during chase of car stolen in Santa Paula

By Anna Bakalis
Ventura County Star

VENTURA, Calif. - Authorities said four Ventura County residents are suspected of attempted murder of a police officer after a high-speed pursuit involving gunshots fired at Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies along Pacific Coast Highway.
The pursuit began about 12:30 a.m. Sunday at PCH and Trancas Canyon Road in Malibu.
Someone in a car fired at deputies soon after the pursuit began, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The chase continued on foot after the suspects' vehicle - reported carjacked earlier this month - crashed into parked cars along the highway near Yerba Buena Road in unincorporated Ventura County.
The suspects ran into a beachside community, where they hid from police. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, a K-9 unit and several Ventura County sheriff's deputies searched the area.
Two suspects were found about 2:50 a.m., and the other two were found around 4:25 a.m. They had injuries from the crash, police said.
Capt. Frank O'Hanlon of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department said a reverse 911 automated phone-warning system was used to alert residents to stay in their homes until deputies called to say it was safe.
Those arrested are Anthony Mendez, 19, of Oxnard; Richard Moten, 22, of Santa Paula; and Rene Villanueva, 20, of Santa Paula. Authorities did not release the name of a 16-year-old boy from Santa Paula who was also arrested.
Each is suspected of attempted murder of a police officer, among other offenses. A .30-caliber rifle was found in the car, authorities said.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies ran the license plate number of the car near Trancas Beach in Malibu after midnight and discovered that the vehicle had been carjacked in Santa Paula on Oct. 6, said Sgt. Steve Bullard of the Lost Hills station in Agoura.
Pacific Coast Highway was closed in both directions for several hours, authorities said.

Wire Service
 
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