An investigation is underway after a West Covina police officer on Monday night shot and injured a man he mistakenly believed was a suspect in a robbery, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Just before 11:30 p.m., the patrol officer heard a radio call about a robbery that had just happened in a neighboring jurisdiction. While trying to find a suspect, the officer noticed an older-model Honda driving at a high rate of speed and thought the driver could have been involved in the robbery, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
The officer tried to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver did not stop. The officer began chasing the vehicle.
After a roughly one-minute chase, the car crashed into the center median on Hacienda Boulevard, east of Maplegrove Street, in La Puente, authorities said.
The driver ran from the Honda, and the officer followed him in his patrol vehicle and “attempted to detain the suspect” in the 1300 block of Sandy Hook Avenue, the Sheriff’s Department said in its statement.
During the attempted detention, the officer shot the man, authorities said.
The man, who was Latino, was struck once in the torso and transported to a hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Department. His injuries appeared to be non-life threatening, authorities said.
The man was not involved in the robbery call but was driving a stolen vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Department. His name was not released.
The shooting is being investigated by the Sheriff’s Department and the West Covina Police Department.
Anyone with information about the shooting has been asked to contact the sheriff’s homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500 or, to provide an anonymous tip, to call (800) 222-8477.