A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was off duty, ordering at a fast-food restaurant in Alhambra, when a man shot him in the head Monday night.
Given the circumstances of the attack, detectives are investigating whether the detective was targeted.
The suspect is described as a white or Latino man in his 20s, between 5 foot 9 and 5 foot 11, believed to be wearing a black T-shirt and black pants. He left the scene in a 2006 Kia Sportage, or similar model, with paper tags.
After shooting the deputy, the man went to a neighborhood and changed clothing, where a residential security camera captured a photo of him, authorities said.
The deputy, who has been with the department for 13 years, was rushed to County-USC Medical Center and remains in critical condition, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The deputy’s name has not been released.
The shooting took place at a Jack in the Box on Valley Boulevard.
The deputy ordered inside the restaurant and was waiting for his food when the man shot him, homicide Capt. Kent Wegener said at a news conference Monday night.
The deputy was off duty and wearing plain clothes with no holster, badge or anything to signify he was a law enforcement officer, Wegener said.
The suspect was wearing a fedora and sunglasses during the shooting, and homicide detectives are investigating, among other things, whether the man specifically targeted the deputy.
Sheriff’s deputies and Alhambra police sealed off the area and were searching for a suspect.
At Monday night’s news conference, Wegener said anyone hiding the man could face serious consequences.
“It’s time to turn him in,” Wegener said. “You don’t want to be associated with this man, and the Sheriff’s Department is going to spare no resources to locate this suspect.”