Gunmen Open Fire On LAPD Patrol Car In 'Unprovoked Attack,' Police Say
Two men allegedly opened fire on an LAPD patrol car Sunday night in South L.A. in what police are calling an "unprovoked attack." Authorities have one man in custody that they're calling "a person of interest" and are still searching for another man who is on the loose.
The two officers were responding to an unrelated police call around 9:30 p.m. on Hoover Street near 62nd Street when a man allegedly shot several rounds at the patrol car, officials told CBS Los Angeles. The officers weren't hurt in the shooting. One of the officers shot towards the suspects, but it's not clear at this point if either of the men were hit.
LAPD Deputy Chief Bob Green told the L.A. Times that the brazen attack was "an ambush," and that the two officers in the patrol car hadn't had any contact with the suspects before the shooting.
Authorities recovered a rifle at the scene, and took one man into custody for questioning. While they haven't released the man's name, they are only describing him as a person of interest right now and have not arrested him.
A massive manhunt went underway for a second man and continued for eight hours until a little before 5:30 a.m. when the citywide tactical alert was called off, according to KTLA. LAPD, LASD and SWAT officers, as well was K-9 units, combed the six-block radius searching for the suspect. CNN reported that about 100 officers were involved in the search.
Police describe the man as between 18 and 25 years old, according to CBS Los Angeles.
This comes on the heels of 28-year-old gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley fatally shooting two NYPD officers in their squad car in Brooklyn on Dec. 20. Brinsley later ran into a subway station and killed himself after the ambush. Authorities later found that the gunman posted on social media that he was seeking vengeance for the lives of two black men, Mike Brown and Eric Garner, who died at the hands of police officers. There have been nationwide protests against police brutality since these deaths.
"We're unaware of any specific ties to this happening in New York. Of course that's something we’ll be looking at," LAPD Det. Megan Aguilar told CBS Los Angeles. "It's a nationwide conversation right now, so it's not something we'll discount or ignore."
Police do get hurt and killed by suspects on the job (a Pomona SWAT team member was killed while serving a search warrant in San Gabriel this fall) but random ambushes are relatively rare. The last time LAPD officers claimed they were ambushed, a report from the LAPD itself came out saying the whole thing probably was faked. (The last incident we can think of in Southern California where a cop was killed simply for being a cop was during Christopher Dorner's rampage.)