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Bullet grazes LAPD officer's helmet in South L.A. gun battle; K-9 wounded

Bullet grazes LAPD officer's helmet in South L.A. gun battle; K-9 wounded
People at a South Los Angeles park look toward where a man opened fire at police Thursday evening. (Leila Miller / Los Angeles Times)

A gunman who fired at Los Angeles police officers and wounded a K-9 during a gun battle Thursday night has been captured, authorities said.

The suspected shooter, whom officials did not immediately identify, was arrested about midnight, said LAPD spokesman Officer Tony Im.

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One K-9 was wounded, authorities said. One bullet struck another officer's tactical helmet but did not injure the officer, Im said. The suspect was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, among other charges.

On Friday morning, the LAPD had reported that an officer was shot in the elbow during the exchange of gunfire. On Friday afternoon, however, the department said this was not the case and that an officer had not been struck in the arm by a bullet.

An intensive search for the suspect was launched shortly after police were fired upon about 7 p.m. at San Pedro and 49th Streets, on the western edge of the South Park Recreation Center, Im said.

At least 13 officers were involved in the incident, with some returning fire on the gunman.

Just before the violence erupted, a group of children were playing soccer in the park, which has a pool, baseball diamond and tennis courts.

The burst of gunfire brought the game to a halt, and families and children ran for cover.

One woman ran toward the shooting, yelling, "Where's my son? Where's my son?"

Gregorio Garcia was with his wife, daughter and three sons, and when he heard the shots he threw himself and his family to the ground.

"This area is hot," said Janet Aguilar, who was inside her car and lives nearby. "A lot of stuff going on like shootings. I don't think I'll bring [my kids] back for soccer practice."

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

Twitter: @MattHjourno

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Twitter: @leilamillersays

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UPDATES:

1:10 p.m.: This article was updated to report that no officers were wounded in the shooting.

This article was originally published at 8:40 a.m.

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