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2 L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies shot in Compton ambush caught on surveillance video; both in critical condition

Sheriff Alex Villanueva talks with the media Saturday night after two deputies were shot. Photo: LASD

Two transit services deputies in a patrol vehicle were shot at close range in an ambush Saturday night in Compton, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.


“Two deputies were ambushed by a gunman in a cowardly fashion,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said about 10:12 p.m. at a news conference at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where they were being treated, adding they were critically injured.

A male and a female deputy were shot shortly after 7 p.m. while they sat in the vehicle at the Metro Blue Line station at Willowbrook Avenue and Elm Street, according to a Sheriff’s Department statement. Villanueva said one deputy is 31 with a 6-year-old boy. Her husband was at the hospital with her. The other deputy is 24, his parents and girlfriend were there.

“These are real people doing a tough job, and it just shows the dangers of the job, in the blink of an eye,” Villanueva said.


Both deputies suffered multiple gunshot wounds and had surgery for their injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Surveillance footage shows a man walking up to the passenger side of the patrol vehicle, opening fire, and then fleeing the scene.

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. Homicide Capt. Kent Wegener said the gunman approached from behind the patrol vehicle, walked along side as if he was going to pass it, then made an abrupt turn toward the vehicle.

The deputies radioed for help after being shot, Wegener said, with one providing a very general description of the shooter as a “dark-skinned male.” The captain also cautioned that the publicly released video had a fisheye lens, distorting the image of the shooter.

According to an ABC7 report, one deputy may have been shot in the head. Footage shot by an ABC7 helicopter depicted what may be blood stains on a building near the train tracks.

In the hours after the shooting, deputies continued to search a wide swath of the area surrounding the train station for the shooter. Authorities said the shooter was still at large late Saturday.

More than a dozen homicide detectives were on the scene, along with forensic technicians, crime analysts and task force members combing for additional surveillance or video footage. Wegener asked anyone with information to contact detectives at 323-890-5500.

Villanueva said his department has been stretched thin recently between ongoing protests and the massive wildfires. Earlier Saturday, at least 200 people marched from the area where Dijon Kizzee was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies Aug. 31 to an area near the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station.

Villanueva said that going forward, deputies will have to watch each other’s backs.

“It seems to be part of a trend, a growing trend, where suspects open fire unprovoked,” the sheriff said.

About 10 deputies wearing face masks guarded the ambulance bay leading to the St. Francis emergency room Saturday evening, as the red lights of a Sheriff’s SUV flashed silently.

Dozens more swarmed to the hospital in response to a group of demonstrators who came to the hospital after the LASD news conference. A helicopter circled overhead as authorities taped off a portion of Martin Luther King Boulevard, blocking access to St. Francis’s parking lots.

Deputies at the scene said the crowd later dispersed.

Some local elected officials urged anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

“This was an unprovoked, cowardly act,” State Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer said. “This individual will be caught.”

Other high-profile officials and elected leaders weighed in on social media.

“Animals that must be hit hard!” President Donald Trump tweeted.

“A cowardly and despicable act,” U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Nick Hanna tweeted.




Other law enforcement agencies in the region offered their support for the Sheriff’s Department as it dealt with the shooting of the deputies.

“We stand with our brothers and sisters at the @LASDHQ tonight,” the Los Angeles Police Department said on social media.


Also, Metro said there will be no A (Blue) Line service between Artesia Boulevard and Willowbrook Avenue/Rosa Parks for the rest of Saturday night  due to the shooting of the two deputies. Passengers were told to use Metro Bus 55 or bus shuttles.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Source: Orange County Register

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