Suspect in downtown gunfight wanted for murder

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A murder suspect wounded in a gunfight with police near downtown Los Angeles after he led them on a chase in a stolen car for more than an hour was hospitalized in critical but stable condition today.

The chase ended at Bixel and Seventh streets about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, with the suspect being shot after a collision with another car, said Los Angeles police Officer Rosario Herrera of the Media Relations section.

Ian Schlesinger, 24, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition with multiple gunshot wounds to his lower extremities. He was held on a murder warrant, and will also face possible charges that include carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, said Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French.

Schlesinger — wanted in connection with a carjacking on Tuesday morning as well as a July homicide — pulled out a “long rifle” after exiting the car he was driving, then fired at officers and was shot several times, Herrera said. No officer was hurt, she said.

Police learned during the chase that Schlesinger had communicated to someone that he was not going to be taken alive, Herrera said. He sent the information to a friend in a text, KCAL9 reported.

The car was initially spotted at Sunset Boulevard and Rosemont Avenue in Echo Park about 6 p.m. Tuesday by officers who recognized the white vehicle as having been stolen earlier in the day in North Hollywood, Herrera said.

The chase went to downtown, on to Elysian Park, Echo Park and back to downtown. The suspect nearly hit several pedestrians, hit at least one car, ran red lights and occasionally drove on the wrong side of the street.

The driver of the vehicle struck by the stolen car at the end of the chase was taken to a hospital and was reported to be in good condition, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The suspect’s brother was killed by police in an officer-involved shooting two years ago, Herrera said.

The brother was identified by KCAL9 as Jack Schlesinger, a 25-year-old carjacking suspect shot and killed by Rampart Division officers in a Westlake district alley on Sept. 28, 2010, after allegedly attacking police with an assault weapon.

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