Gang member arrested in ‘ambush’ shooting of L.A. County deputy, sheriff says

Investigators searching for evidence
Investigators search for evidence after the shooting of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in West Covina on Monday.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said Tuesday that California Highway Patrol officers had arrested a gang member in San Onofre who shot a deputy in the back as he sat on his department motorcycle at a West Covina stoplight.

Deputy Samuel Aispuro, 43, was shot once about 2:45 p.m. on Monday in an “ambush” at the intersection of Barranca Street and East Garvey Avenue, authorities said. After the shooting, Aispuro was able to radio for help, triggering a massive manhunt. The deputy was hospitalized and stable and is now recovering at home, Luna said.

CHP officers apprehended Raymundo Duran, 47, Monday evening on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of a loaded firearm at a San Onofre inspection point in a silver Toyota Camry. Investigators connected Duran to the West Covina shooting after initially booking him as a suspected drunk driver, Luna said.


“There was a lot of good detective work and eventually we connected all the dots,” Luna said. Sheriff’s homicide detectives then interviewed Duran at the San Diego County jail, he said.

“Based on statements, security camera video in West Covina, witness statements and the firearm recovered by CHP, detectives strongly believe Raymundo Duran is the suspect in the shooting of our deputy,” Luna said. Duran is being held in the San Diego County jail in lieu of $1-million bail.

Luna said the weapon recovered by the CHP is believed to be the one used in the shooting and is being tested for forensic evidence.

Luna said Duran is a documented gang member, associated with a gang he declined to name. “He has a very extensive criminal history. He has a very violent history,” the sheriff said. “He had no business being in the possession of a firearm with his criminal history.”

Luna said further details about Duran’s motivation and what unfolded won’t be made public until they are presented in court.

The sheriff thanked witnesses to the shooting who immediately aided the injured deputy. “Eventually their information became very important. In our eyes, you are heroes.”


Aispuro, a married father of two, is now doing well with his family at home, Luna said.

Luna reiterated that the deputy’s bulletproof vest “saved his life,” and that without it, the case probably would have been a murder investigation.

Aispuro, who has been with the department for 19½ years, put out an emergency broadcast that included a description of the Camry, Luna said. That led authorities to a house in La Puente, where several people were detained but not arrested, and ultimately released, Luna said.

Aispuro 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.”