Suspect who allegedly opened fire on deputies in Compton pleads not guilty

An ex-con who allegedly opened fire on Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies last week in Compton as they responded to a report of a shooting -- and then barricaded himself inside his apartment, which caught fire while he was inside -- pleaded not guilty Tuesday to attempted murder of a peace officer and other charges.

Alrick Mcneese, 49, of Compton, was charged Monday with two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, three counts of assault with a firearm on a peace officer or firefighter and one count each of assault with a firearm, arson of an inhabited structure or property and possession of a firearm with a prior violent conviction.

The criminal complaint includes allegations that Mcneese personally used a shotgun and that he has convictions dating back to 1990 for crimes including robbery and first-degree burglary.

Sheriff's deputies were sent to the 100 block of Acacia Avenue about 7:30 a.m. last Thursday on an assault with a deadly weapon call, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported.

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A person who had been wounded was taken to a hospital, the sheriff's department reported.

Meanwhile, deputies responding to the scene came under fire, but they were not wounded, the sheriff's department reported.

Deputy Miguel Meza said the suspect -- later identified as Mcneese -- was armed with a shotgun, which he fired when deputies knocked on the door. The shotgun blast did not pass through the door, and no deputies were injured, he said.

A containment of the area was established, residents in the apartment and nearby buildings were evacuated, and a SWAT team from the sheriff's Special Enforcement Bureau was sent to the scene.

A fire was reported in the building at about 8:15 a.m. that day.

Meza told reporters the fire was in Mcneese's apartment, and the suspect apparently was responsible for igniting the flames. A natural gas leak was reported in the building, Meza said.

The wounded person -- either a friend or a roommate of Mcneese's -- told deputies a firearm was accidentally discharged, Meza said.

"The victim said there was some sort of accidental discharge inside the location, which is when the deputies responded to the gunshot victim call," Meza told FOX 11.

The circumstances of the shooting remained under investigation.

Mcneese surrendered about 8:45 a.m. that day, the sheriff's department reported. He remains behind bars in lieu of $2.25 million bail, according to jail records.