A man accused of opening fire on Arcadia police officers responding to a domestic-disturbance call at his family’s home — striking one officer in the face and sparking an hours-long standoff — pleaded not guilty Monday to attempted murder and other charges.
Nurhan Venk, now 48, is charged with five counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, along with another attempted murder count for allegedly shooting his 73-year-old mother in the chest during the Aug. 10 rampage, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The latter charge includes a sentence-enhancing elder-abuse allegation.
He was also charged with one count of mayhem and two counts of elder abuse, with prosecutors saying Venk beat his mother during the disturbance.
An 83-year-old man who lives across the street from the Venk home was struck in the face by a stray bullet. Sheriff’s officials said all three shooting victims were expected to survive.
Arcadia police initially responded earlier to a home in the 2500 block of Greenfield Avenue to a report of a family disturbance.
According to Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred, Venk’s mother owns the home and had “kicked out” her son Nurhan, who used to live there. He allegedly returned Aug. 10 to the residence, prompting a family dispute that led to the police response.
Alfred said that as police approached the home, they heard gunfire inside. Moments later, shots were fired toward the group of officers, striking one in the face, authorities said.
Officers backed away from the home, and Venk’s mother and her 12-year-old grandson ran from the home to safety, according to the sheriff’s department. Venk’s mother was then taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the chest, while the boy was not reported to be injured.
Another police officer suffered a minor ankle injury during the fray.
Zoo Yang, the 83-year-old neighbor across the street, was struck in the face by a stray bullet that passed through a window of his home. Yang’s son told reporters the man was watching his 4-month-old grandson when he was shot, but the boy was not injured.
Authorities said Venk holed up inside the home for roughly five hours. He surrendered around 10:45 p.m. after law enforcement personnel fired a flash-bang device at the home.
He emerged from the house with a limp, suffering from what authorities called an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities said no police or sheriff’s deputies fired their weapons during the standoff, which prompted evacuations of nearby residences.
While the identity of the injured officer was not released, Arcadia Police Lt. Brett Bourgeous said the officer has been with the department for about six months, but has about three years of overall law enforcement experience, having previously served with the sheriff’s department.