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134 Freeway reopened after bullet hits LAPD patrol car

134 Freeway reopened after bullet hits LAPD patrol car
An LAPD SUV was struck by a bullet early Sunday. (LAPD)

Los Angeles police fanned out across part of Eagle Rock early Sunday in search of a suspect whose gunfire struck a police SUV.

The shooting prompted the closure of both sides the 134 Freeway for several hours as authorities conducted their investigation. About 8 a.m., westbound lanes had been reopened. Eastbound lanes were reopened about 10:45 a.m., a spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol said.

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The incident unfolded about 3:15 a.m., when police received reports of shots fired in the Eagle Vista area, LAPD Lt. Chris Ramirez said. Two officers from LAPD's Northeast Division went to investigate in a marked, black-and-white SUV.

Sometime later, they heard gunshots and "felt a thud on the vehicle," Ramirez said. The officers got out of their car, saw a bullet hole in the back door of their police cruiser, and called for more officers, he said.

The eastbound 134 Freeway is closed as the LAPD conducts an investigation into the shooting of an LAPD vehicle on the freeway early Sunday morning.
The eastbound 134 Freeway is closed as the LAPD conducts an investigation into the shooting of an LAPD vehicle on the freeway early Sunday morning. (Michael Owen Baker / For The Times)

Officer Norma Eisenman said the officers were near the corner of Figueroa Street and Eagle Vista Drive when the round struck their SUV.

Neither of the officers were injured or returned fire, Eisenman said.

Police set up a perimeter around the area to try to locate the shooter, calling in officers from SWAT and the elite Metropolitan Division to help with the search. A helicopter also circled overhead.

Police say a shooting occurred. near the corner of Figueroa Street and Eagle Vista Drive.
Police say a shooting occurred. near the corner of Figueroa Street and Eagle Vista Drive. (Dan Watson / Los Angeles Times)

LAPD officials had no description of their suspect or information about where the gunfire came from. It was also unclear whether the shooter targeted police or whether the SUV had been hit by stray gunfire — it was "really hard to say" so early in the investigation, Ramirez said.

Earlier, Eisenman called the shooting "brazen."

"Anytime a police vehicle gets shot at, it's alarming," she said.

About 10 a.m., the helicopter flew away as rifle-toting officers returned to the LAPD's Northeast Division, signs that the search was coming to an end.

Ramirez said the police would scour the scene for potential evidence, using metal detectors to scan the ground for casings and looking for cameras that might have captured the gunfire.

He asked anyone who might have seen or heard the shots to call police.

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UPDATES:

11:09 a.m.: This story was updated with additional details about the shooting.

10:50 a.m.: This story was updated to reflect the the 134 Freeway was reopened.

10 a.m.: This story has been updated with additional reaction and details about the shooting.

9 a.m.: This post has been updated with reaction from police and new details.

6:50 a.m.: This story has been updated with additional details.

This article was first posted at 6:40 a.m.

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