Officers Involved Shooting in 1700 Block of Cherry Avenue

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Arson investigationOn Saturday, December 31, 2011, at approximately 11:35 p.m., officers from the Long Beach Police Department were involved in an officer involved shooting in the area of Pacific Coast Highway and Cherry Avenue, that resulted in injury to a male adult.

Officers working a two-officer car were on patrol in full uniform and in a marked black and white police vehicle when they heard a gunshot coming from the 1700 block of Cherry Avenue. They drove to the area to investigate when they came across a group of subjects. One of the subjects, identified as 33-year-old Chhann Chhaim of Long Beach, attempted to walk away from the officers and refused to stop. The investigation later revealed that prior to the officers arriving on scene, he had fired his weapon into the air. As Chhann walked away from the arriving officers, he dropped a handgun. A second subject in the group, identified as 25-year-old Songha Lewis and also from Long Beach, picked up the gun and started running down the sidewalk in the direction of one of the officers and an officer involved shooting occurred.

Suspect Lewis was transported to a local hospital where he is listed in critical but stable condition, and is in custody on a no bail burglary warrant. Detectives will be presenting a criminal case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with a request he be charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, possession of a loaded firearm in public, and a probation violation.

Suspect Chhaim was arrested and booked for ex-felon with a firearm, discharging a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm in public by a gang member, and resisting arrest. He is being held at the Long Beach City Jail on 35,000 bail.

No officers were injured during the incident.

In addition to the Long Beach Police Department’s ongoing investigation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is also conducting an independent investigation, which is routine for all hit officer involved shootings that occur in Los Angeles County. Anyone who may have information regarding this incident is asked to contact Long Beach Police Homicide Detectives Scott Lasch and Donald Goodman at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted via text or web by visiting

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