LAPD officer wounded by ‘coward’ in ambush, Beck says

Scene of police ambush.

A suspected gunman was in custody after allegedly opening fire on a group of Los Angeles police officers Friday night, wounding one, in what LAPD Chief Charlie Beck described as an ambush by a “coward.”

Beck said on Twitter on Saturday morning that the gunman fired from a “significant distance” in an unprovoked attack.

The shooting occurred about 9:50 p.m. on Hartford Avenue, south of 7th Street.

“She was ambushed,” Beck wrote of the female officer who was hurt.


Officer Mike Lopez said, “You’re walking and all the sudden someone starts shooting at you.”

The unidentified officer was hit in the thigh and hospitalized at L.A. County-USC Medical Center.

The chief said the officer was in stable condition late Friday.

The LAPD tweeted, “Please keep the officer in your prayers tonight.”

“She is in remarkably good spirits,” Beck said in an update Saturday morning. “The dangers of this profession should never be lost on any of us. Please keep both her and her family in your prayers as she recovers.”

The wounded officer recently graduated from the LAPD academy and was with her training officer at the time, Beck said.

The training officer was not wounded. Neither fired their weapon, Lopez said.

A 28-year-old suspect, who was not immediately identified, was taken into custody and a gun was recovered at the scene, Beck said. Several streets in the area were closed, as well as the southbound 110 Freeway, as officers conducted their search.

The chief cautioned that the investigation into the shooting was still underway, but he said the information relayed to him overnight indicated that the suspect fired at least nine shots at officers who were “standing out in the open,” backlighted by the lights of their patrol vehicle. The shots were fired from almost 500 feet away, Beck said.

“They were doing their job and were targeted for it by a coward,” he said.

The suspect ran as the wounded officer’s partner pulled her to safety and called for help, Beck said. As other officers responded to the scene, the chief said, witnesses pointed out the fleeing suspect.

When confronted by police, Beck said, the suspect let go of his weapon and was arrested without incident. Physical evidence, video and witness statements “support his arrest,” the chief said.


8:30 a.m.: This article was updated with new information from Police Chief Charlie Beck.

This article was originally posted at 7:30 a.m.