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Man convicted of racially motivated murder, attempted murder of police officer

A Long Beach man who yelled racial slurs at three black men sitting on a bus bench before pulling out a gun and opening fire then later shooting at a police officer was convicted in February of murder and attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

A jury deliberated for one day before finding Darryl Harnish, a 67-year-old white man,  guilty of killing 37-year-old Terry Alexander. The jury also convicted Harnish on Feb.11 of one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm of Arthur Vega, a Long Beach police officer.

Shortly after midnight on April 19, 2012, Harnish yelled racial slurs and threatened to kill three black men sitting on a bus bench at Pacific Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach, according to a statement from prosecutors.

Alexander, who was sitting on the bench, rode his bike toward Harnish, who opened fire. Alexander was struck and died at a hospital.

Vega, the police officer,  was about a block away when he heard the gunshots. When he got to the scene, Harnish fired twice at Vega, hitting his car hood and the windshield. Vega was not injured.

Harnish faces 85 years to life in prison when he is sentenced March 25, prosecutors said.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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