La Habra : Sheriff’s Deputy Wounded by Bandit

An off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was shot and wounded early Thursday morning in La Habra by a lone bandit who approached him when a tire on his car went flat just a few blocks from home.

Casey Dowling, 22, was in fair condition at UCI Medical Center in Orange with a gunshot wound to his left abdomen.

The gunman fled after Dowling returned fire. Police surrounded the area and a sheriff’s helicopter was called in, but the robber managed to escape, according to La Habra Police Lt. Terry Rammell.

Police do not believe that the man was hit by any gunshots during the shooting, which erupted just minutes after midnight in the 200 block of West Olive Street, he said.

A deputy for only seven months, Dowling was on the way home from his shift at the main jail in Los Angeles when he pulled over to check a flat tire, Rammell said. He was approached by a man with a handgun who demanded money.


As Dowling began to reach for his own revolver in his waistband, the robber fired, striking the deputy on the left side, Rammell said. Dowling managed to pull his weapon and fire six shots as the robber fled on foot.

Two La Habra police officers parked nearby heard the shots and arrived at the scene to find Dowling sprawled on the pavement. Paramedics took the deputy to the hospital, where he underwent surgery Thursday morning, Rammell said.