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Deputy shooting suspect charged, could face life in prison

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A man accused of shooting a deputy stopped at a traffic light in West Covina will face criminal charges including attempted murder of a peace officer, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday.

Raymundo Duran, 47, has been charged with assault on a peace officer or firefighter using a semi-automatic weapon and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to Gascón. Prosecutors have also filed a special allegation of intentional use of a firearm during commission of a crime, a sentencing enhancement that would result in a life sentence if Duran is convicted.

Duran is accused of shooting Deputy Samuel Aispuro in the back while the officer was on a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department patrol motorcycle Monday afternoon, dressed in full uniform and waiting at a red light at the intersection of N. Barranca Avenue and E. Garvey Avenue South. He pulled up next to Aispuro before opening fire, Gascón said, who described the attack as an "ambush."

The nearly 20-year veteran deputy was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time -- something Sheriff Robert Luna said likely saved his life. 

The bullet hit Aispuro once but it did not penetrate his vest, Luna said. He was treated at a nearby hospital in stable condition and has since been released.

He was in the city of West Covina for training at the time, according to Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Several hours after the shooting, around 10 p.m., Duran was stopped and arrested by California Highway Patrol officers in San Diego County. He was taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving and a weapons possession charge. Luna said officers found a firearm in Duran's car, a 2008 silver Toyota Camry.

Law enforcement linked him to the earlier shooting in LA County through surveillance footage from the scene as well as interviews with him, witness statements and the recovered weapon, authorities said.

"Our detectives strongly believe that Raymundo Duran is the suspect involved in the shooting of our deputy in the city of West Covina," Luna said Tuesday. "They took a very dangerous person off the road."  

Duran remains in custody on $1 million bail.

Meanwhile, the sheriff described him as a documented gang member. During Wednesday's news conference, Gascón would not say whether that detail will factor into the ongoing investigation and resulting charges. 

He also declined to say whether investigators believe Aispuro was targeted because he's a deputy.

In 2022, Duran received a 32-month prison sentence for another crime, according to Gascón, apparently managing to get an early release.

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