Off-Duty Cop Repeatedly Shot While Confronting Man Breaking Into His Car, Shoots His Would-Be Killer
Los Angeles, CA – An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was shot multiple times in the chest while disarming a suspect who he found inside his parked vehicle in a locked parking garage on Wednesday.
The incident occurred in the underground garage of an apartment building located in the 5200-block of Vesper Avenue at approximately 1 p.m., KCBS reported.
The officer and a woman were walking to his personal vehicle when he spotted someone sitting in his car, according to police.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore noted the officer, who works in the agency’s detectives’ bureau, “typically secures his bulletproof vest as well as other equipment including a firearm” inside his personal vehicle, KCBS reported.
As the officer approached, the suspect put on the ballistic vest and grabbed the duty weapon from the car, according to police.
The officer, who was armed with a second firearm, immediately confronted the suspect, leading to a shootout, KCBS reported.
The gun battle began in the locked parking facility and soon spilled out into the street, according to KTTV.
The officer was able to disarm the suspect, but not before being shot in the thigh and multiple times in his chest, police said.
He took his vest and gun away from his attacker and made his way back into the parking facility to where the woman was located, then he collapsed, Chief Moore told KTTV.
The woman was uninjured during the shootout.
A witness working at a vehicle dealership behind the apartments said he saw the confrontation and that he also watched the suspect trying to get rid of what appeared to be a black bag of “evidence,” KCBS reported.
The witness immediately called police, who were able to apprehend the gunman.
The suspect was transported to the hospital with gunshot wounds to his shoulder, leg, and arm, KTTV reported.
Chief Moore said the shooter tossed the wounded officer’s gun magazines over a fence after the shootout.
The officer was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery.
Doctors are optimistic about his survival, KCBS reported.
“I spoke with him before he went into surgery,” Chief Moore said. “Obviously these are very traumatic injuries, and he is grateful to be alive, but he’s not out of the woods yet.”
The chief said investigators are working to understand how the suspect gained access to the parking garage, which is normally secured, KCBS reported.
Although investigators do not believe the off-duty officer was targeted, there has been a 45 percent jump in the number of firearms being stolen from vehicles recently, according to Chief Moore.
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