2 LASD Deputies Shot in Ambush-Style Attack Are in Stable Condition

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By KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO

Two LA County Sheriff's deputies, who were shot in an ambush while they sat in their patrol vehicle in Compton, have both made it through surgery for their wounds and are reported to be in stable condition.

One deputy was shot in the jaw, the other in the head. The shooter approached the SUV shot at the deputies and ran off.

The man, described as Black, 28-to-30-years-old and wearing dark clothing, was last seen heading northbound on Willowbrook Avenue in a black four-door sedan.

REWARD

The reward for his capture now stands at more than $200,000, thanks to an additional $100,000 approved Tuesday by the LA County Board of Supervisors. Janice Hahn praised the wounded deputies.

A GoFundMe page set up for the two deputies and as of Tuesday afternoon, there were more than $420,000 raised in donations toward the page's new goal of $750,000.

The page, which was started by sheriff's detective Keegan McInnis, can be found at http://ow.ly/N3q430r9VTq.

The deputies were described as a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy whose husband was at the hospital. And a 24-year-old man whose parents and girlfriend were also at the hospital, Villanueva said. The sheriff said he swore-in both deputies himself 14 months ago.

Both deputies are out of surgery and are now in stable condition, according to officials, after the gunman approached their patrol car parked outside of a train station in Compton and opened fire unprovoked. 

The female deputy was shot in the jaw and arms. The male deputy was shot in the forehead, arm, and hand.

"Fortunately, they were spared any injury to a vital organ that would have jeopardized their life immediately," Villanueva told KNX Newsradio.

The attack took place at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night at the Metro A (Blue) Line station at Willowbrook Avenue and Palmer Street, Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters.

Surveillance video released showed what appeared to be a male, described as dark-skinned, approaching the patrol vehicle and walking as if he was going to continue past the vehicle before turning, walking up to the passenger side and firing, then running back the way he came.

"Two deputies were ambushed in a cowardly fashion," Villanueva said. The shooting was without warning or provocation. "It pisses me off and it dismays me."

The sheriff's department launched an overnight manhunt for the suspect, going door-to-door in some parts of the Compton area.

"I am devastated to learn of the tragedy that occurred in our city tonight," Compton Mayor Aja Brown said Saturday, in an official social media statement pledging the City's cooperation with the sheriff's department to track down the shooter. "Both deputies and their families will remain in our prayers."

The wounded deputies managed to radio for help said sheriff's Capt. Kent Wegener, who was leading the investigation. Responding deputies rushed their wounded colleagues to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where they underwent surgery overnight. 

Both were out of surgery as of Sunday morning. Both were reportedly shot in the head. 

"Once a week, an officer is felled by the felonious act of another person. This is just a grim reminder of that," the sheriff said. "Actions, words have consequences and our job is not getting any easier because people don't like law enforcement."

“This ambush of two of our LA County sheriff’s deputies is horrifying and heinous.  It is by the Grace of God and the skill of the incredible nurses and surgeons at St. Francis Medical Center that these deputies survived this attack. My prayers are with them, their families, and their colleagues who are working to find the perpetrator," Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement. 

"We all must come together to condemn any violence. I am asking for calm and for protests to remain peaceful so that we can pursue constructive solutions to the challenges we face as a community," Hahn added.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted, "Sending prayers of healing to the @LASDHQ deputies shot in a horrific attack near the Blue Line in the City of Compton. Deputies across the county bravely work to keep our communities and Metro riders safe. We strongly condemn this cowardly ambush & stand prepared to offer aid."

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore also shared his thoughts in a tweet late Saturday.

"Tonight we pray for these two guardians to survive," Moore wrote. "I recognize and acknowledge we live in troubled times. But we must, as a community, work thru our differences while loudly and resoundingly condemning violence. Blessed are the Peacemakers."

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, tweeted, "Thank God both deputies made it through surgery and are now in critical but stable condition. Our thoughts and prayers for them and their families will continue to be amplified. Lawlessness of this sort cannot be tolerated. Let the perpetrator be swiftly and properly apprehended."

President Donald Trump retweeted the shooting video and wrote, "Animals that must be hit hard!"

Monday, a tweet of bystanders to the attack was posted. People can be seen laughing minutes after the two deputies were ambushed and shot. The tweet has since gone viral with millions of views.

Due to the disturbing and offensive nature of the video, KNX 1070 News decided not to use it in this story

LASD Sheriff Alex Villanueva reacted to the video telling KNX 1070 he is disgusted.

"Not a soul walked up to the deputies. They were by themselves until their partners in the field showed up to help them," he said adding "there is no humanity there."

The sheriff's department said protesters had temporarily blocked St. Francis Hospital's emergency room entrance, on the night of the shooting, quoting one phrase shouted out as "We hope they die.

The local CBS affiliate confirmed the confrontation between the LASD and protesters, which led to the temporary closure of streets around the hospital.

The City of Lynwood is distancing itself from comments made by their city manager regarding the shooting of the deputies. Jose Ometeot posted a response on Instagram writing: "Chickens come home to roost" on a meme of Malcolm X. 

The City has since issued a statement saying the city manager's personal opinions don't reflect the position of the Lynwood City Council and that they send their prayers to the families of the injured deputies. And that they support efforts to track the attacker.

Authorities asked anyone with information to call 323-890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact “Crime Stoppers” by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), using the “P3 Tips” mobile app or visiting lacrimestoppers.org.

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