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Man, 18, Charged With Attempted Murder In Police Helicopter Shooting

VAN NUYS (CBS) — An 18-year-old man accused of shooting a LAPD helicopter was charged Tuesday with two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and other charges.

Danny Anthony Lopez was expected to be arraigned sometime Tuesday at the Van Nuys Courthouse. He allegedly shot the helicopter early Sunday morning over Saticoy Street and Densmore Avenue, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.

Lopez is also charged with two counts of assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm and single counts of shooting at an occupied aircraft and carrying a loaded firearm in a street gang.

Police said Lopez was upset over the recent death of a friend, and they credited his relatives for reaching him after the shots were fired and subduing] him.

No one in the helicopter was injured and the crew managed to land safely at nearby Van Nuys Airport, police said.

In the minutes after the chopper was hit, members of the gunman's family confronted him in the street and tackled him, enabling officers to arrest him around 7:10 a.m. without firing a shot, an LAPD captain said.

The helicopter was hovering over the area in response to a report of shots being fired just before 6 a.m.

Lopez faces up to life in prison if convicted, according to the District Attorney's Office.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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