A known gang member with a long violent criminal history accused of shooting a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy could have been kept behind bars if not for soft-on-crime policies by the region’s top prosecutor, his election opponent said. 

Raymundo Duran, 47, who allegedly shot Deputy Samuel Aispuro in the back at a stop light while he was sitting on his marked sheriff’s department motorcycle on April 22 in West Covina, California, has been involved in a number of violent crimes, including two felony assaults that he committed while serving an 11-year sentence for manslaughter, according to court records. 

Aispuro, a nearly 20-year veteran of the department, was wearing his bulletproof vest and survived the unprovoked attack.

In 2021, Duran was arrested after leading authorities on a car and foot chase in which he was charged with committing a hit-and-run, resisting arrest and fleeing from a police officer. Authorities were forced to collide with Duran’s vehicle to stop him before he briefly ran from the scene, authorities said. 


Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, a Democrat, could have had Duran imprisoned, but he was instead sentenced to probation as part of a plea deal, according to Gascón’s election challenger.

“Raymundo Duran, by all accounts, is a sociopath who has committed violent act after violent act for decades,” Nathan Hochman, a former federal prosecutor running as an independent to unseat Gascón, told Fox News Digital. “Unfortunately, the sentences that he’s received haven’t deterred him from committing additional violent conduct.”

“So, when George Gascón has his chance to deal with Mr. Duran and make it so he won’t be able to victimize others, he decides to go for the lowest sentences,” he added. 

Gascón has faced harsh criticism from his own prosecutors as well as law enforcement and elected officials over his progressive criminal justice policies. 

Jason Lustig, a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, said prosecutors have been demoralized after nearly four years under his boss. 


Raymundo Duran and George Gascon

“Everybody has just really been sickened over it,” he told Fox News Digital. “We have a front-row seat to seeing more victims adding up. We see it every day.”

At the time of his 2021 arrest, Duran was a four-time convicted felon wanted for a parole violation. He also has a 1996 conviction for domestic violence. In 2002, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for stabbing his boss at a Jiffy Lube to death as part of a plea deal, Hochman noted. 

In 2003, a year into his prison term, Duran assaulted a guard at Salinas Valley State Prison. He pleaded no contest in Monterey County Superior Court, court records state. 

On Nov. 9, 2009, Duran stabbed another prisoner with a “shank,” a makeshift knife. He was sentenced to another four years after pleading guilty to assaulting a prisoner in a manner likely to cause great bodily injury.

“We have a front-row seat to seeing more victims adding up. We see it every day.”

An LASD motorcycle

After his release, he violated his parole, and in February 2022, he was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. The crime was punishable by six years in prison, but prosecutors entered into a plea deal with Duran, who was sentenced to two years, four months. 

“In 2021, had he actually gotten a six-year sentence or longer, he wouldn’t have been in the place to have shot the gun at the deputy in West Covina,” Hochman said.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Gascón’s office.

Duran, who was in a 2008 Toyota Camry, was arrested in San Diego County hours after the ambush shooting. He is charged with first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer, assault against a peace officer, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.


“The senseless and unprovoked shooting of Deputy Samuel Aispuro is a stark reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers face daily,” Gascón said days after the shooting. “Our office is committed to vigorously prosecuting the offender to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts are with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Deputy Aispuro as he recovers from this tragic incident.”

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