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Gunman Allegedly Shot Slain Sheriff's Sergeant 'Execution Style'
The gunman who shot and killed a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sergeant on Wednesday afternoon did so in an executioner's fashion, says Sheriff Jim McDonell. Standing over the already wounded man, 27-year-old Trenton Trevon Lovell shot the sergeant four more times before fleeing the scene, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"When you look at what we know at this point, this was a calculated execution," McDonnell said in a press conference.
At 12:35 p.m. on Wednesday, Sheriff's sergeant Steve Owen and another deputy responded to a burglary call in the 3200 block of West Avenue J7, in Lancaster. 33-year-old Maria Azuela had called law enforcement to her home after she heard a loud noise downstairs in her home, and found broken glass. When the officers arrived, Azuela heard several gunshots ring out from the outside of her home. When she looked outside from a second story window, she saw Owen's body lying face-down on the ground next to her home. McDonell said the suspect searched Owen's body for a firearm after shooting him.
The other deputy who responded to the burglary call ran towards the sound of the gunshots, where he found Owen on the ground. The deputy rushed to the front of the building immediately after, where he found Lovell attempting to escape in Owen's patrol car. The deputy opened fire on the stolen cruiser and struck Lovell in the shoulder, but Lovell reversed the vehicle and rammed a second patrol car at the scene, which in turn struck and injured the sheriff's deputy.
Lovell jumped out of the vehicle on foot next, then ran into a nearby home with two teenagers inside, according to KABC. Sheriff's Department Special Enforcement Bureau officers were able to evacuate the teens from the home before they arrested Lovell.
As it turns out, Lovell has a long criminal record. His first arrest was for selling marijuana as a juvenile, and has been since arrested eleven times. Two of those arrests resulted with time in state prison. Lovell was on parole at the time of the shooting.
"The sergeant's family is devastated. This is an individual that no matter who you talk to in the department, no matter who you talk to in the community, he was a larger than life person," McDonnell said. "He's somebody who was the epitome of what it is to be a peace officer."
Owen was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died. His wife, mother and two adult children were able to see him before he passed.