The deputies were “ambushed as they sat in their patrol vehicle” and were left severely wounded.
Trigger warning: Contains details which may be distressing to some readers.
Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who were sitting inside their patrol car in a Compton neighborhood wound up in the hospital after a man walked up to them with a gun in his hand. The armed man “ambushed” the two officers and shot both of them in the unprovoked attack, leaving them both severely wounded.
After being taken to the St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, both the deputies had to undergo emergency surgeries as they were in critical condition. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had later tweeted a video of the shooting and mentioned that the attack came without any warning or provocation. It had only been 14 months since both the female and male deputies graduated from the academy.
“They are both still fighting for their lives, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” the department wrote on Twitter. “… One male deputy and one female deputy were ambushed as they sat in their patrol vehicle. Both sustained multiple gunshot wounds and are in critical condition.”
The video shared by the department captured the shooter moving extremely closely to the deputies, firing at them, and then running away.
One of the deputies then made a panic-stricken call and the words, “I’ve been shot. Send help,” can be heard in the recording, according to ABC7.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva gave a statement and said about the shooting, “That was a cowardly act. The two deputies were doing their job, minding their own business, watching out for the safety of the people on the train. To see somebody just walk up and start shooting on them. It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time. There’s no pretty way to say it.”
While the two officers, identified as a 31-year-old mother and a 24-year-old man, were receiving the treatment they needed, a crowd of protesters reportedly gathered outside the hospital and started chanting slogans against the wounded deputies, as reported by CNBC. The tweets that were posted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reveal that the protesters were blocking the entrance and exit to the hospital and yelling “We hope they die.”
“To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling ‘We hope they die’ referring to 2 LA Sheriff’s ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL,” the department wrote. “People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through.”
The department had also tweeted that two arrests were made but they later revealed that one of them was a female who was part of the press.
When reporter Josie Huang later spoke about how she was arrested while covering the incident, she revealed that she was screaming at the officers that she was a reporter for KPCC, but the officers did not pay heed.
“I saw a commotion ahead of me. Deputies rushed one man and chased another,” Josie recalled on Twitter. “I was filming an arrest when suddenly deputies shout ‘back up.’ Within seconds, I was getting shoved around. There was nowhere to back up. Somehow I was able to start a new video right away. You see my phone clatter to the ground and I start shouting ‘I’m a reporter…I’m with KPCC.’ I scream for help from the TV reporters I know are around the corner doing their 11 p.m. live hits.”
Josie was later released.
When Sheriff Villanueva gave an update on the deputies who were shot, he said according to CNN, “It looks like they’re going to be able to recover. We’ll see what the long-term impact is. We don’t know that yet, but they survived the worst.”
Speaking against the shooter who ambushed the deputies, Governor Gavin Newsom also said it was a “cowardly, horrific act,” according to ABC7.