Two Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputies were shot in an attack being described as a “straight ambush” at a train station in Compton and are “fighting for their lives,” according to the LA County Sheriff.
Officials confirmed both deputies were still alive at about 10:30 p.m. The suspect remains at large, officials said. The two sheriff deputies, a man and a woman, were shot multiple times in Compton and transported to a local hospital, where they remained in critical condition, according to LASD, and were in stable condition Sunday night, according to FOX 11 Reporter Bill Melugin. They released a video of the shooting, which you can watch here or later in this post.
“The two deputies were doing their job, minding their own business, watching out for the safety of the people on the train, and seeing somebody just walking 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,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
Here’s what you need to know:
The 2 Sheriff Deputies Were Sworn Into Office 14 Months Ago
The two Los Angeles Sheriff deputies who were shot and seriously injured were sworn into office just 14 months ago, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a press conference Saturday night. You can watch the full press conference here or later in this post. Villanueva said he swore in the deputies himself. The female deputy is the 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy, and the male is 24, he said.
“These are real people doing a tough job, and it just shows just the dangers of the job in the blink of an eye,” he said.
The female deputy was shot through the jaw, applied a tourniquet to the male deputy and called for help on the radio, her family told FOX 11 Reporter Bill Melugin.
“NEW: LASD & the families of the two ambushed deputies have given me permission to show this graphic photo of the moment after they were shot. I’m told female deputy was shot through jaw, still radioed for help & applied tourniquet to male deputy’s wounds. Both stable now.
@FOXLA,” he wrote on Twitter.
Rumors circulated Saturday night that one of the deputies had died, but officials confirmed they were both still alive at about 10 p.m. on Twitter and at the press conference later in the evening.
“Both deputies are critical but alive by God’s grace,” Undersheriff Tim Murakami wrote on Twitter.
They were at the Metro Blue Line station at Willowbrook Avenue and Elm Street when they were ambushed at about 7:10 p.m. Saturday, September 12, 2020, according to FOX 11. LASD officials said the deputies are “fighting for their lives.”
“Moments ago, 2 of our Sheriff Deputies were shot in Compton and were transported to a local hospital. They are both still fighting for their lives, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. We will update this thread with information as it becomes available,” LA County Sheriffs wrote on Twitter.
The identities of the deputies were not immediately released. Both went though emergency surgery, according to LASD. Both were released from surgery, but remained in critical condition, officials said.
“Update: 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. They are both currently undergoing surgery. The suspect is still at large,” LASD wrote on Twitter.
Anti Police Protesters Shouted ‘We Hope They Die’ Outside Hospital & Tried to Get Into Emergency Room
Anti police protesters blocked an emergency room entrance where the two Los Angeles Sheriff Deputies were recovering from serious injuries in an ambush early Sunday morning, the LA County Sheriff wrote on Twitter. The protesters chanted “We hope they die” and tried to get into the emergency room.
“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. People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through,” LA County Sheriffs wrote on Twitter.
FOX 11 reporter Bill Melugin shared a video of the protesters outside the St. Francis Hospital chanting “oink oink,” booing and ranting.
A protester said officers would “die one by one.”
LA County Sheriff Villanueva Said the Ambush Is Representative of a Growing Trend
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the unprovoked attack on two of his deputies is representative of a growing trend of violence against law enforcement.
“It seems to be part of a trend, a growing trend with suspects opening fire unprovoked,” he said.
Earlier in the week, he said deputies were serving a search warrant when a suspect opened fire at them.
“Every week in the nation, someone is losing their life in the line of duty, so this is just another grim reminder of that,” he said. “The two deputies were doing their job, minding their own business, watching out for the safety of the people on the train, and seeing somebody just walking 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.”
He said the department is stretched thin as deputies serve in their normal duties, monitor protests and assist in wildfires.
“As you can tell we’re stretched…” he said at the press conference, and paused to wait for the sound of nearby sirens to dissipate. “We have the civil unrest and protests in south LA, we have the Bobcat Fire, we have situations in downtown LA. We have a lot different situations going on at the same time. Our deputies are working very long hours these days, and this is just going to add to the things that we have to be alert for. We have to start a buddy system, watching out for each others back.”
He did not say how many shots were fired at the deputies, but said, “You can get a lot of rounds off in two seconds.”
President Donald Trump shared the video of the suspect shooting two LASD deputies on Twitter shortly after its release.
“Animals that must be hit hard!” he wrote.
Officials Released a General Description of the Suspect, Who Remains at Large
Officials described the gunman with a very general description, and are working to gather more information. The suspect was described as “a dark-skinned male,” based on a description one of the deputies gave after he was shot. Officials added during the press conference a fish eye lens may have distorted the suspect’s height in the video.
The deputies are members of the Transit Services Bureau. They were at the Compton PAX station when they were both shot multiple times by a male who got off a bus and fled the scene.
“BREAKING: Two LASD Transit Security Bureau deputies have been shot at the Compton PAX station. I’m told by LASD that both were shot in the head by a male who got off a bus, then fled. Both hospitalized, Sheriff Villanueva at hospital now,” Bill Melugin of FOX 11 wrote on Twitter.
Sources described the attack to him as a “straight ambush.”
The FBI has offered its assistance in the investigation.
“”FBI Los Angeles has offered resources and stands ready to assist in response to reports of an attack on @lasdhq deputies tonight.”