Woman With Gun Chases Burglars, Shot by Officer

Times Staff Writer

A Hollywood woman who had been chasing some burglars was shot by a policeman early Tuesday when she ignored the officer’s orders and reached for a pistol in her waistband, according to Los Angeles police.

Detectives said the 35-year-old woman, her husband and son had armed themselves and dashed into the street to chase some people they had seen breaking into their car.

The burglars escaped, but moments later police responding to a “shots-fired” call confronted the family at Fountain Avenue and Vine Street.


Celia Sagrero, struck in the abdomen by a single bullet fired from a policeman’s pistol, was rushed to St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank where she was in serious but stable condition. Detectives said she would not be charged with any crime.

Officer Margie Reid gave this account of what happened:

Shortly before 4 a.m., Celia Sagrero; her husband, Luis, 44, and their son, Amador, 18, saw several people burglarizing their car that was parked in front of their home in the 1400 block of El Centro Avenue. The Sagreros each grabbed a pistol, dashed outside and chased after the fleeing suspects.

Several shots were fired, although none apparently struck anyone.

Two police officers responding to a call about the gunshots spotted Amador Sagrero strolling down the street about a block away at Fountain and Vine carrying a .22-caliber pistol. At the officers’ command, the young man surrendered the pistol and was arrested.

Moments later, Lt. Edward Garcia, a 20-year veteran of the force, arrived to see Celia Sagrero walking toward her son, who lay handcuffed on the street.

“Garcia saw she had a handgun in her waistband and ordered her to raise her hands,” Reid said. “She complied. But then she reached for her gun. The lieutenant fired one round from his 9-millimeter pistol.”

Reid said the officers promptly arrested the wounded woman, who was found to be carrying a loaded .22-caliber revolver. Other policemen said they found Luis Sagrero sitting in a nearby car. They said a .44-magnum revolver was found in the car.

A subsequent records check revealed that the .44-magnum revolver had been stolen, and Amador Sagrero was booked on suspicion of receiving stolen property, Reid said.

Luis Sagrero was released.