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Officer assaulted at LAPD station in San Pedro; suspect took officer’s gun and opened fire — no one struck in exchange of shots

Gunfire broke out in the lobby of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Harbor Station in San Pedro on Saturday night after a man came in, got into a fight with a desk officer and gained control of his gun. Police said the man then opened fire and a supervisor returned fire, but no one was struck by the shots. The desk officer was being treated for an assault, possibly a pistol-whipping, and a 29-year-old suspect was later arrested.

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The startling series of events was first announced LAPD at 10:28 p.m. in a tweet saying: “There is a significant police incident at LAPD’s Harbor Station.”

Later, LAPD Chief Michel Moore explained during a news conference at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center what had happened:

It began when the suspect walked into the lobby of the station, which technically would have been closed to the public because of the coronavirus, though the door may have been left cracked open. A desk officer came to see if he needed assistance and there was a discussion that led to an altercation, though officials did not immediately detail what the fight was about.

The man eventually gained control of of the officer’s gun and fired several rounds that hit no one. The watch commander came to the lobby and fired at the man, but he was not injured and fled in a pickup truck. The suspect — whose identity was not immediately released — was arrested near 18th Street and Pacific Avenue. Officers expected to book him after he was treated for what were described as minor injuries sustained during the arrest. An arresting officer also had minor injuries. The gun taken from the desk officer was recovered, officials said.

Moore said the officer injured in the lobby was resting at UCLA-Harbor Medical Center and was expected to recover. He described him as a senior officer at the Harbor Division with several decades of service with the LAPD.

“When we talk about desk operations, the desk officer is the face of the police station. He protects the station. He answers calls. He is a voice of the LAPD police station,” said City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the area and came to the hospital.

He said the incident is “another reminder of the danger of police work.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti has been discussing the incident with Moore, Buscaino said.

Garcetti tweeted, “Sending my best wishes for a quick and full recovery to our LAPDHQ officer injured in an incident at the Harbor Station tonight. The officer is in stable condition and we’re closely monitoring the situation.”

Earlier Saturday, an off-duty officer had his car shot at while driving in Reseda.

The shooting occurred about 5:45 a.m. while the officer in his personal car and the SUV driver were on Vanowen Street in the area of Lindley Avenue, police said.

The shots fired at the officer missed him but hit his car, the LAPD reported.

The officer’s name was not released.

Anyone with information on the SUV driver was asked to call the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division at 213-486-6910 or the LAPD’s tipline at 877-527- 3247. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

Saturday evening’s incident follows the ambush shooting of two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies in Compton on Sept. 12. Both deputies survived.

 

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Source: Orange County Register

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