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Off-Duty LAPD Detective Shot, Suspect Arrested in Mission Hills

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An off-duty Los Angeles police detective was wounded in the arms and legs late Saturday in Mission Hills when he exchanged gunfire with a man who the officer said demanded his wallet, police said Sunday.

Det. William Cooper, a seven-year LAPD veteran now assigned to the Devonshire Division, suffered three gunshot wounds while sitting in his car at Brand Park about 11:20 p.m. He was treated and released Sunday morning from Northridge Hospital Medical Center, police officials said.

The suspect, Albert Darcey Medina, 35, of Sylmar, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body, but was able to flee with Cooper’s wallet, authorities said.

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Medina, who was taken to the hospital by unidentified people a short time later, was in serious condition at Holy Cross Medical Center late Sunday. He was under police guard.

Medina was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer and may face additional charges, said Officer Scott Meadows of the LAPD’s Foothill Division.

Officer Helen Lloyd, an LAPD spokeswoman, said Cooper was sitting in his car at Brand Park in the 15100 block of San Fernando Mission Boulevard when a man approached the car, pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and demanded Cooper’s wallet. Cooper identified himself as a police officer and managed to draw his personal weapon, a .38-caliber revolver, she said.

Police said it remained unclear how the shooting started or who fired first. They were unable to say why Cooper was in the park.

Lloyd said the officer-involved shooting team of the LAPD Robbery/Homicide Division will investigate the shootings. The Foothill Division will investigate Medina, she said.

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