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LAPD investigating gunfire at graffitied skyscraper in downtown L.A.

Los Angeles, CA, Thursday, February 1, 2024 - Taggers have graffitied what appears to be more than 25 stories of a downtown Los Angeles skyscraper that's been sitting dormant for several years. Construction on Oceanwide Plaza, a $1 billion mixed-use retail and luxury apartments project with three towering unfinished structures, stalled in January 2019 after the Beijing-based developer lacked the funds to complete it. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Graffiti appears on more than two dozen floors of Oceanwide Plaza. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Gunshots rang out just before midnight Friday at a vacant skyscraper that taggers recently covered in graffiti across the street from Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles, authorities said.

Officers responded to Oceanwide Plaza on Figueroa Street late Friday night after receiving a call of shots fired but found no victim or suspects, according to LAPD Officer Jader Chaves.

Police recovered two spent bullet casings at the scene and the investigation is continuing, he said.

The incident comes after vandals spray painted at least 27 floors of the skyscraper this week, judging by aerial video of the building.

Early Tuesday morning, officers responded to a vandalism call on South Figueroa Street, the site of the unfinished and long-idle Oceanwide Plaza development, according to the LAPD.

The department's Air Support Division reported seeing more than a dozen suspects trespassing and possibly spray painting the building.

By the time more officers arrived, all but two suspects had fled the location, authorities said. The two — L.A. residents Victor Daniel Ramirez, 35, and Roberto Perez, 25 — were arrested and transported to the Central Area station, where they were cited for trespassing on private property and released.

Two days later, officers returned to the construction site in the early afternoon to respond to another vandalism call, this time involving spray painting on the 30th floor, according to the LAPD. Officers were told by the site’s security guards that the suspects fled the building in a car.

Police found a car matching the description they’d been given and told the driver to stop, but the driver didn’t yield, the department alleged. Officers eventually found the vehicle a short distance away and the driver was cited for failure to yield to an officer. The investigation is still ongoing.

Oceanwide Plaza was once one of the biggest real estate development projects in Los Angeles, but construction was halted five years ago when its Chinese developer ran out of money. The $1-billion mixed-use project was supposed to feature hotel and retail space as well as luxury apartments and condominiums.

The buildings have remained unfinished ever since in the popular LA Live complex, which includes shops, restaurants and the Grammy Museum. Crypto.com Arena anchors the complex and will host the 66th Grammy Awards on Sunday.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.