A San Bernardino police officer is in grave condition and one suspect is dead after a gun battle broke out shortly before 2 a.m. Friday, officials said.
The 31-year-old officer, a six-year department veteran, was rushed to the hospital with at least two gunshots to the upper torso, Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said. The shooter, described as a male in his 30s, was killed by the officer's partner, officials said.
The wounded officer was training his partner, who is just two months out of the police academy, Burguan said. The officer in training was not hit, he said.
The shooting occurred after the officers approached a group of six people in the 1900 block of Garner Avenue and one person in the group opened fire, officials said. An assault rifle with high-capacity magazines and a revolver were recovered at the scene, Burguan said.
Officials said the officers were walking on the street, which dead-ends into a field, when they made contact with the group. When the gunman opened fire, striking the senior officer, his partner turned and engaged the shooter in what Burguan described as "a bit of a protracted gun battle."
The wounded officer was rushed to a nearby hospital in a police car and then transferred to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he was undergoing emergency surgery, Burguan said.
"He's a very good police officer, respected by his peers," he said.
The identity of the gunman was not immediately released.
Burguan said police were interviewing four people who were in the group: two women, ages 18 and 19, and two men, ages 30 and 24.
“We don’t know what their level of involvement is," he said.
Police were looking for a fifth male who ran away just as the officers arrived at the scene, he said.
It was unclear why the officers made contact with the group and which weapon was fired.
"It’s a little early in the investigation to know who fired what," Burguan said.
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