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Police officer wounded in wild shootout in Manhattan Beach

Police officer wounded in wild shootout in Manhattan Beach
A Hawthorne police officer was wounded by a gunman in Manhattan Beach early Sunday. (Sammy Hester / Los Angeles Times)

A Hawthorne police officer was wounded in a wild shootout with a gunman near a shopping center in Manhattan Beach early Sunday, authorities said.

Police responded to reports of a domestic dispute at a Marriott hotel near the corner of Rosecrans Avenue and Aviation Boulevard about 9:30 a.m., police said. A man dressed in military fatigues and carrying a handgun was reported chasing a woman in the hotel.

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When police arrived on the scene, the gunman was spotted running westbound across Aviation Boulevard into the Manhattan Gateway shopping center, Hawthorne Police Chief Michael Ishii told reporters. The shopping center is home to a Barnes & Noble, REI and Trader Joe's, among other businesses.

Police followed the man into the mall parking lot, where they exchanged gunfire with him, Ishii said. The gunman was using a high-capacity weapon to shoot at officers, the chief said.

During the gun battle, a 15-year veteran of the Hawthorne police force was shot in the leg, Ishii said. The officer was hospitalized but alert, he said, and undergoing treatment for his injury.

After exchanging more gunfire with police, the shooter eventually gave himself up. He was in custody and had sustained a gunshot wound, Ishii said.

Police officials are in contact with the gunman’s companion. They do not yet know the nature of her relationship with the shooter. An interview was underway.

Officials located the gunman’s car and identified the room he was staying in at the hotel. Although police were still in the process of confirming that no guests at the hotel had been hurt, it appeared that the only people injured in the shootout were the officer and the shooter.

A police command center was set up at the Da Vinci school near 135th Street and Aviation Boulevard. About 60 SWAT officers in full gear were on scene. Bystanders said they saw police teams from Hawthorne, Gardena, El Segundo, Culver City, Inglewood and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“This is just a trip,” said Hawthorne resident Chavita Medrano, who was out for a bike ride. “You hear about all these horrible things happening in the world, but you don’t expect it right in your backyard.”

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