18-year-old man pleads not guilty to firing 'ghost gun' at 2 LAPD officers

An 18-year-old man pleaded not guilty Thursday to attempted murder and other counts for allegedly firing with a so-called "ghost gun" at two Los Angeles police officers in a patrol vehicle.

Anthony Lamont Hill is charged with two counts each of attempted murder of a peace officer in the performance of their duties and assault with a semi-automatic firearm on a peace officer in the performance of their duties, along with one count of carrying an unregistered firearm in public, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Two officers in a marked patrol vehicle tried to contact Hill after they allegedly saw him walking on May 23 on Washington Boulevard with a weapon, but he allegedly ran from officers, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Hill allegedly turned around and fired a 9mm Polymer80 unregistered handgun at the officers as they drove toward him, with bullet strikes subsequently observed in the officers' patrol vehicle, prosecutors said.

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Hill was arrested the following day by Los Angeles police, according to jail records.

He remains jailed on $2.2 million bail, and is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom July 14, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.

In a written statement announcing the charges last month, District Attorney George Gascón said, "My office is holding accountable the people who use guns to harm others and working to restrict access to ghost guns, which have contributed to the recent rise in violent crime across our nation."

In February, the district attorney called on three credit card companies to stop online payments for the purchase of kits to make untraceable "ghost guns," which are typically assembled from purchased or homemade components and lack serial numbers by which they can be identified.

At a press conference last month, in the wake of three mass shootings in Orange County, Buffalo, N.Y., and Milwaukee, Gascón said people should not have access to ghost guns and called for the implementation of "reasonable gun control."