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California

Woman springs into action when suspect in killing of deputy jumps into her backyard

Jamie Forsher, 35, was standing in the sunroom of her parents’ Lancaster home Wednesday afternoon when she saw a man jump over a fence into their backyard. Forsher knew about the manhunt — deputies had searched the house earlier in the day, and her family was watching the news unfold on television in another room.

The man ran toward the back door. So did Forsher.  

“I slammed it and locked it and told everybody to get on the ground,” she said. “God forbid he starts shooting and tries to get in here.”

Forsher said deputies had swarmed the neighborhood and “got him within a matter of seconds.” Television footage showed the man sprawled next to the family’s backyard pool as he surrendered.

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Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen was killed after he was shot during a gun battle while responding to call of a residential burglary nearby. A dramatic manhunt ended with the arrest of the suspect.

Owen, a 29-year department veteran, was awarded a Medal of Valor in 2014, the department’s highest honor. His wife is a member of the department’s Arson Explosive Unit.

My heart really goes out to the officer who was shot and his family.
Jamie Forsher, who saw a man jump into her backyard

“My heart really goes out to the officer who was shot and his family,” Forsher said. “I’m just happy no one else was hurt.”

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Gunshots were reported about 12:30 p.m. in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7, triggering a massive search for the shooter, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Shortly after 2 p.m., the suspected gunman, who is from the Antelope Valley and is on active parole, later forced his way into a home and holed himself up with two hostages, Katz said. When deputies entered the house, the man fled through the backyard, put his arms up and was taken into custody. A weapon was recovered. Authorities did not describe the weapon.

During the gun battle, the man was struck in the upper torso by gunfire, Katz said.

The wounded sergeant was driven in a sheriff’s cruiser to Antelope Valley Hospital in grave condition. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, who was at the hospital, said the lawman was shot in the face.

kate.mather@latimes.com

@katemather 

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