Huntington Beach police officers injured by 'friendly fire' while confronting suspect

Two Huntington Beach police officers were injured by their own gunfire Thursday as they confronted a knife-wielding man, authorities say.

The officers had responded about 7 a.m. to a report of a man slashing tires in the 2000 block of Delaware Street, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the shooting.

When the officers arrived, they spotted the man, armed with a knife, in an area between two homes, authorities said. That’s when the officers opened fire, wounding the man and themselves, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

“Based on preliminary investigation, it appears the officers were injured by friendly fire,” the department said in a news release Friday.

Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened. However, department spokeswoman Gail Krause said that it appears “one colleague shot at the other.”

The veteran officers were hospitalized and later released, authorities said. The officers have not been identified.

The suspect, whose identity has yet to be released, remained hospitalized Friday and was expected to survive, the Sheriff’s Department said.

On Thursday, Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy told reporters that investigators had recovered a knife and were combing the area for additional evidence.

Handy declined to speculate on what happened during the shooting.

“Of course these situations are very dynamic,” the chief said. “Honestly, when they are converging on somebody trying to get away, things get very hectic.”

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

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