2 Officers Wounded in Shootout

Times Staff Writer

One suspect was dead and two Burbank police officers were in surgery late Saturday night with serious injuries after a gunfight erupted during a routine traffic stop, authorities said.

The incident occurred after two officers stopped two men in a sport utility vehicle in front of the Ramada Inn on San Fernando Road, north of Buena Vista Street, about 6:30 p.m., said Sgt. William Berry of the Burbank Police Department.

At some point during the ensuing exchange, a man inside the car began shooting at the officers, who returned fire, killing one suspect even as they were being hit repeatedly by bullets, Berry said.

Both officers, one in his 20s and the other in his mid-40s, were believed to have been seriously injured, Burbank city officials said. Both were wearing bulletproof vests; police did not disclose where they had been hit.

At least one suspect was thought to have escaped. Scores of officers with dogs searched the vicinity late into the night.

The suspect who was killed has not been identified. He may have been on the ground when he was shot, but police were still trying to confirm details, Berry said.

"There are four known witnesses," he said. "One is dead, two are in surgery, one is still at large."

Burbank police were aided in the search by Los Angeles Police Department officers and Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies.

Burbank police asked for help from the LAPD's Foothill and North Hollywood divisions, said Sgt. Christopher Vasquez of the North Hollywood station. The LAPD also sent a helicopter, he said.

The Golden State Freeway was closed in both directions between the Ventura Freeway and the Hollywood Freeway. A large area surrounding the Ramada Inn was also closed off as canine units canvassed the area.

Berry said a gun had been recovered, but had no details.

Police did not identify the officers pending notification of their families.

Nearly the entire Burbank Police Department turned out to help, Berry said.

"We are a small department, 170 officers, and we are family," he said.

Times staff writers Hector Becerra and David Pierson contributed to this report.

For The Record Los Angeles Times Saturday November 29, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 News Desk 1 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction Motel location -- An article in the Nov. 16 California section gave the wrong address for a Ramada Inn parking lot where two gunmen shot and killed a Burbank police officer and wounded another officer. It is on North San Fernando Boulevard.
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