Suspect in shooting of CHP officer is a Marine veteran, family says

CHP officers investigate homeless encampment
CHP officers investigate the site where Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi, who is accused of shooting and seriously injuring a California Highway Patrol officer during a traffic stop in Studio City, was arrested at a homeless encampment along Gloria Avenue in Lake Balboa.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
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A 33-year-old man was arrested Tuesday in the shooting of a California Highway Patrol officer during a traffic stop in Studio City after an LAPD bloodhound tracked him to a tent at a Lake Balboa homeless encampment, authorities said.

Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi was taken into custody by Los Angeles police about 12 hours after a CHP officer was shot multiple times during a traffic stop in the Campbell Hall Episcopal School parking lot shortly before 8 p.m. Monday. Soon after, the CHP booked Khosroabadi on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer.

According to CHP officials, the 27-year-old officer, who was not identified, was shot and suffered severe injuries after the gunman delayed complying with a traffic stop in the 4500 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The officer has been on the job about a year.


A law enforcement source said the officer was shot in the face a couple of minutes into the traffic stop.

Khosroabadi, who had been driving a white sedan, was injured and fled the scene, authorities said. The officer was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The shooting occurred near Central and Garvey avenues in El Monte, authorities said. One suspect was also killed.

June 15, 2022

For the record:

1:56 p.m. June 14, 2022An earlier version of this article said Nicholas Prange, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson, confirmed the officer was transported to a hospital in critical condition. Prange said a patient was transported to a hospital in critical condition.

Nicholas Prange, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson, confirmed that a patient was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition.

Authorities traced a white sedan driven by the suspect to a Van Nuys apartment building, a law enforcement source told The Times. There, a SWAT team and other officers searched the building and used flash-bang grenades to breach an apartment associated with Khosroabadi, police said.

A smiling photo of Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi
The California Highway Patrol released this image of Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi, who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in the shooting of a CHP officer in Studio City.
(California Highway Patrol)

The LAPD zeroed in on the apartment complex using the license plate number from the vehicle the injured officer had pulled over. SWAT and patrol officers searched the apartment complex in the 7400 block of Haskell Avenue and spoke to an associate of Khosroabadi, police said.

Police then brought in Piper, a K-9 bloodhound, who picked up the suspect’s scent near the apartment complex, Sgt. Desi Ehrlich said, adding that colder weather overnight helped the police dog.

“Time, heat and wind are three things that really go against the bloodhound’s ability to track or trail. … We were pushing it at the 12-hour mark,” Ehrlich said.


LAPD Chief Michel Moore said Khosroabadi was found inside a tent in the Lake Balboa area with a hand injury, apparently from a gunshot wound.

Deric Lewis, who lives in a tent on Gloria Avenue, said Khosroabadi came into his tent Monday night and spent the night there. “He had a gun and blood all over his clothes,” Lewis said.

Lewis said he and his friend Candice Wilkins were in the tent and felt like hostages of Khosroabadi, who Lewis said lived in a tent down the street.

“He asked me to go get his car,” Lewis said. “I asked him what street this happened on, and he said Laurel Canyon.”

Lewis said the man said his “name was PJ, and he called his sister too.”

“He’s a Marine. Served in Afghanistan. He said he was in the bloodiest battle in Afghanistan,” Lewis said.

Lewis said Khosroabadi told him he wanted to die by suicide or push police into killing him. “I told him don’t do that. I tried to talk him from killing himself or hurting another cop,” Lewis said.


“When he jumped out of the tent I thought he was going to make a move. With so many … weapons in his face, he thought against it, I guess,” Lewis said.

The suspect’s brother, Robert Thompson-Khosroabadi, said Khosroabadi is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan. He said Khosroabadi’s “mental health state took a turn for the worst.”

He described his brother as a “die-hard American who served his country” and has been denied help from Veterans Affairs.

“He is not a terrorist. He is not a bad person. He’s the most loving person I’ve ever met and he’s the kind of guy that will give you the shirt off his back,” Robert Thompson-Khosroabadi said in a statement. “He was on his way to give a toy to our younger cousin with autism when the incident occurred. PTSD can strike at any moment.”