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Suspect dead, SWAT officer shot in the face in barricade situation near USC

Map showing area near USC campus
A barricade situation that has been ongoing since about noon Tuesday left the suspect dead.
(Los Angeles Times)

A suspect is dead and a SWAT officer with the Los Angeles Police Department was shot in the face after a barricade situation near the University of Southern California campus, the LAPD said late Tuesday afternoon.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a media briefing that the incident began about 12 p.m., when officers were called after reports of a man firing a rifle into the air in the backyard of a residence in the 1000 block of 21st Street near Toberman Street.

The 37-year-old suspect’s family members, who live in the front of the two residences at the address, gave “varying accounts as to the suspect’s mental health” and potential narcotics and firearms in his possession. The family and additional residents in a rear residence were evacuated.

SWAT officers made contact with the suspect inside the house. They attempted to persuade him to surrender peacefully by playing recordings of his family speaking to him. When he did not comply, officers lobbed tear gas into the residence, Moore said.

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That’s when the suspect fired at a SWAT officer from inside the house, hitting him in the chest. The officer felt the impact but was protected by his bullet-resistant vest, Moore said.

Then the suspect exited the house and “engaged officers on scene,” leading to more gunfire. The officer who was initially shot in the chest was shot again in the face, Moore said. He was taken to a hospital.

The suspect was shot by officers and died at the scene, the chief said.

Moore said he has spoken with the wounded LAPD officer, who was “shaken and grateful to be alive.”

“I’m grateful to have visited the hospital a little bit ago and be beside the officer who suffered this wound,” Moore said. “We’re getting him help and support.”

Officers have seized long rifles and a handgun at the scene.

Moore said this is the second recent shooting resulting in injuries. Officers also responded to reports of a person armed with knives in southeast Los Angeles.

“A short time ago, we had an additional officer-involved shooting in the southeast L.A. area,” he said. “The officers in that instance are OK, and the person armed with knives is getting treatment at a nearby hospital and will survive.”

In a tweet, USC urged area residents and students to avoid the area as the LAPD investigation was expected to continue through the night.

Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.


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