Whittier officer ‘in good spirits’ after being struck twice in shootout with murder suspect

Police officers stand by cruisers and yellow crime scene tape in Whittier.
An investigation is underway after a Whittier police officer was shot twice in the lower extremities and a gunman struck in the hand during a shootout Monday night.
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A shootout with a murder suspect in Whittier on Monday ended with a police office struck twice in the lower extremities and the gunman shot in the hand, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.

Whittier officers were conducting surveillance on a suspect identified as Edgar Gonzalez, 25, authorities said. Gonzalez was wanted in connection with a targeted killing in Santa Fe Springs, according to sheriff’s homicide Lt. Hugo Reynaga.

Officers attempted to stop Gonzalez at about 8:40 p.m. in an alley in the 7300 block of Pickering Avenue, near Penn Street. They directed him to get out of the vehicle several times, and when he did, Gonzalez ran away, authorities said.


Police pursued Gonzalez and caught up to him between two apartment complexes, where one or more officers opened fire, sheriff’s officials said. It was not immediately clear what prompted the shooting.

A male officer suffered two gunshot wounds to his lower extremities, and the suspect was shot once in the hand, according to sheriff’s investigators.

After the shooting, Gonzalez continued running south on Pickering, where authorities say he tossed a semiautomatic handgun and continued running west on Mar Vista Avenue.

A police dog was brought in, and officers used a less-lethal 40mm baton round on Gonzalez before he was taken into custody, sheriff’s officials said.

The officer, who was not identified, and Gonzalez were both taken to Los Angeles County-USC General Medical Center, where they were treated for their injuries.

Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri, who initially asked for prayers for the officer, described him as being in “good spirits” Monday night.


On his Facebook page, the mayor praised the “awesome response” by deputies from the Pico Rivera, Norwalk and Temple sheriff’s stations and officers from El Monte and Irwindale police departments.

Gonzalez was taken into police custody, and sheriff’s homicide detectives are assisting the Whittier Police Department in the investigation of the shooting.