L.A. County sheriff’s department searching for suspect who shot deputy in the back

Police investigate a shooting near the 10 Freeway in West Covina.
A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was shot Monday on the 10 Freeway in West Covina.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Authorities continued searching Monday night for a suspect who shot a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in the back at a stoplight near the 10 Freeway in West Covina.

Deputy Samuel Aispuro, 43, was shot once in the back at about 2:45 p.m. while stopped at a red light on a department-issued motorcycle at Barranca Street and East Garvey Avenue, L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a news conference.

Aispuro, who was in uniform and wearing a bulletproof vest, was transported to a local hospital and was stable, Luna said.


“The bulletproof vest he was wearing absolutely saved his life,” he said. “What kind of person shoots another person in the back? I could think of a lot of names for that.... To me that’s the worst of the worst.”

Deputies are continuing to search for the suspect, who they believe was in a white sedan with tinted windows, last seen headed westbound on the 10 Freeway from Barranca.

“Right now, there is somebody out there armed with a firearm who shot one of our deputies in the back,” Luna said. “And if he’s willing to do that, I’m sure he’s willing to shoot at anybody else.”

Aispuro, who has been with the department for 19½ years, put out an emergency broadcast with information that led to an initial search for a white van, Luna said. The search led to a house in La Puente, where several people were detained but not arrested, and ultimately released, Luna said.

Luna described the deputy as a married father of two.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Luna said the department has not determined how many shots were fired. The intersection where the shooting occurred will remain closed until all the evidence there is collected.

The deputy worked out of the Century station in Lynwood and was in West Covina for training, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement.


“This could have been so much worse, and it is a reminder to all of us that our deputies put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities,” she said. “I stand ready to support the Sheriff as he and his deputies work to bring the person responsible to justice.”

Luna said the Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone with information who was near the intersection at the time of the shooting to come forward with information.

“You are our eyes and ears out there,” Luna said. “That’s why we need information coming forward, so we can look at every angle. ... Our intent is we’re going to catch them, but we need your help.”