A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was shot during a scuffle with a suspect in East Los Angeles underwent surgery and is in stable condition Tuesday, authorities said.
The deputy, who has been with the department for more than 10 years, was shot in the upper torso as he struggled to get a gun away from a suspect during a traffic stop near De Garmo Drive and Meisner Street in City Terrace about 11:30 p.m. Monday, officials said.
The injured deputy’s partner witnessed the struggle and fatally shot the suspect, who was identified by authorities as a 42-year-old man. A 30-year-old woman and another 42-year-old man, who also were in the vehicle during the stop, were detained for questioning.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell told reporters early Tuesday that he had not been able to speak with the wounded deputy but met with his wife and his attending physician.
“We’re very thankful for the outcome at this point,” he said. “We’re optimistic about his chances for a full recovery.”
California Highway Patrol officers who were monitoring radio traffic Monday night heard about the shooting, rushed to the scene and took the injured deputy to LAC+USC Medical Center, McDonnell said.
News footage from the scene showed law enforcement helping their wounded colleague into the hospital.
The events leading up to the shooting are not clear, but McDonnell said the encounter occurred when one of the vehicle’s passengers, who was sitting in the back seat of the car, got out and brandished a gun.
The shooting is the third involving a deputy in about a week. Last week, a gunfight in East L.A. left two sheriff’s deputies wounded and a suspected gang member dead. A second deputy-involved shooting occurred in Compton earlier Monday, authorities said.
“This is the third deputy-involved shooting in less than a week. In all three cases, there were tremendous acts of selflessness of putting themselves in between the threat and the communities they serve,” McDonnell said.
The sheriff praised the deputies involved and emphasized the dangers they face during traffic stops, especially at night when visibility is poor.
“Most times, you really don’t know how many occupants are in the vehicle until you’re right there and you get them to roll down the windows,” he said. “The deputies put themselves in harm’s way every time they stop a vehicle. They’re walking into the unknown.”
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.