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Man is shot by school police in South L.A. after allegedly harassing students

A man was shot and wounded off campus Wednesday by Los Angeles School Police following an incident at Carver Middle School in South L.A.

The administration at Carver Middle School called school police at 1:20 p.m. to deal with a man “driving in circles around the school making threatening remarks and scaring students,” said Robert Taylor, president of the L.A. School Police Management Assn., a union that represents managers in the department.

Parents and students had noticed the man, who also got out of a van and approached students, who were on the other side of the school’s perimeter fence, said Sgt. Rudy Perez, a department spokesperson.

Two officers responded and found the van parked adjacent to campus. As they approached the man, “they saw him holding pepper spray and a knife,” Taylor said.

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A foot pursuit began and the man allegedly fled into a convenience store, about two-and-a-half blocks away, then discharged the pepper spray in the direction of the officers. It’s not clear if one or both officers were hit with the pepper spray, but both were taken to a hospital as a precaution, Perez said.

After discharging the aerosol, the man then allegedly charged at the officers with the knife.

One officer fired at the man twice, hitting him in the shoulder and abdomen. He was taken to a hospital for treatment, in the custody of school police, Taylor said.

Perez said the wounded man was stable when he left the scene, but he did not have an immediate update on his condition.

Earlier this month, a 16-year-old male student was shot and wounded after school outside the football field of Santee Education Complex, a high school south of downtown Los Angeles. That incident may have been sparked by an earlier on-campus fight between students.

Minutes later, a man was shot and wounded in front of a nearby primary center, but the two shootings did not appear to be related.

The future of the L.A. Unified School Police Department has been a controversial topic in the school system, with a board majority voting last year to slash its funding by 35% — a response to student and community activists who called for defunding the police. One result is that high schools no longer have an assigned officer. In years past, at the middle school level, an officer would typically split time between two campuses. These officers, too, are no longer stationed on campus.

Other officers have operated as part of patrols, which have continued.


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