LAPD officer shot and suspect dead after running gun battle at South L.A. housing project

An investigation is underway Tuesday into a running gun battle between Los Angeles police and a gunman that resulted in an officer wounded and a suspect dead at a housing project in Watts.

The suspect’s name has not been released, and detectives remained at the scene Tuesday morning as they looked for clues into the shooting. A handgun was recovered at the scene.

“After meeting with injured @LAPDSoutheast Officer, I’m in awe of courage displayed. Expected to make a full recovery and in good spirits,” Police Chief Charlie Beck said on Twitter. “Initial accounts in @LAPDSoutheast suggest that our brave #LAPD officers endured a fierce gun battle requiring unwavering courage.”

The Los Angeles Police Department officer was taken to a hospital and released early Tuesday, spokeswoman Officer Norma Eisenman said.

A shootout between Los Angeles police and a gunman at a housing project in Watts resulted in an officer being wounded and an 18-year-old man being killed.


The shooting occurred about 11 p.m. near 111th and Antwerp streets at the Nickerson Gardens public housing project, where police were conducting extra patrols, Eisenman said.

At the housing project, the officers saw a group of people who began dispersing and running away, she said. As police chased them, the suspect produced a handgun, Eisenman said.

“Shots were exchanged between the suspect and officers,” she said.

During the gun battle, an officer was struck in the left arm and the suspect was struck by police gunfire, Eisenman said.

Based on preliminary information, Beck said the gunman fired at least ten rounds.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer was taken to the hospital.

KTLA reported that the suspect’s mother, Lisa Simpson, said he was running across the street when he was shot and killed by police.

“The police killed my son,” the sobbing mother told the news station. “He was running across the street and they killed my son. They killed my son.”

After the gunfire, police swarmed the area and established a perimeter as they searched for other possible suspects. LAPD Sgt. James Linder said an “agitated” crowd initially gathered after the shooting, but the group dispersed.

Police were checking buildings and “methodically conducting a search,” Linder said.

The incident comes as officers in Los Angeles — and throughout the country — are on high alert following the killing of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., earlier this month.

Citing his concerns over copycat violence, Beck last week announced he was taking extra precautions to better protect officers.

Immediately after the shooting in Baton Rouge, the department deployed more police helicopters to fly and provide information to the officers on the ground. The department’s entire Metropolitan Division — about 500 officers known for their elite training — was pulled off crime suppression detail to protect officers responding to calls.

Beck sent a video to his officers about a week ago, saying he wanted to make sure that officers were “as safe as we can be.” “Watch your back,” he said. “Watch each other.”

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5:59 a.m.: This article was updated with details about the shooting, comments from Police Chief Charlie Beck and the man’s mother.

1:05 a.m.: This article was updated to say a suspect was dead and a gun recovered at the scene.

12:40 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details on what led to the shooting and the condition of the officer.

July 26, 12:05 a.m.: This article was updated with more details about the shooting.

11:45 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Deputy Chief Bill Scott.

This article was originally published at 11:15 p.m. on July 25.