Compton police shooting: Everything we know about 'ambush' gun attack on two police officers in LA

Surveillance footage captures suspect firing into parked patrol car

Alex Woodward
New York
Sunday 13 September 2020 17:20
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Two LA police officers shot in 'ambush' attack
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Two sheriff’s deputies in Los Angeles are in critical condition following a shooting in Compton, California on Saturday.

Surveillance footage captures a suspect walking up to the deputies’ parked patrol car and firing into the passenger side window before running from the scene.

Here is what we know so far:

Officials called the shooting an “ambush” after a suspect fired into a patrol car, injuring two deputies – a 24-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman – on Saturday night. Both deputies joined the office 14 months ago, according to Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Donald Trump – who has demanded “retribution” and supported extrajudicial killings in the wake of police brutality protests – has called the suspect an “animal that must be hit hard” and called for the death penalty. “Only way to stop this!” he said on Twitter.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said: “This cold-blooded shooting is unconscionable and the perpetrator must be brought to justice. Violence of any kind is wrong; those who commit it should be caught and punished. Jill and I are keeping the deputies and their loved ones in our hearts and praying for a full recovery.”

California Senator and Biden running-mate Kamala Harris also condemned the attack: “The perpetrator must be brought to justice.”

Both deputies are on the sheriff’s transportation detail.

Law enforcement officials have not announced whether they have identified a suspect. The FBI is assisting the investigation.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has faced intense scrutiny over the recent killings of residents by police, which have renewed ongoing protests against police violence throughout the state.

Sheriff Villanueva called the handful of people heckling officers who guarded the outside of the hospital an “unlawful assembly of a group of protesters” who are "blocking the hospital emergency entrance and exits”. Journalists’ video from the scene does not appear to show evidence that the entrance and exits were blocked.

Josie Huang, a reporter for LAist and NPR affiliate KPCC in Los Angeles, was arrested while filming the arrest of one of the people outside the hospital. Local media captured several deputies pinning her to the ground.

The sheriff’s office said in a statement on social media that Ms Huang "did not identify herself as press and later admitted she did not have proper press credentials on her person" though she was wearing press credentials around her neck.

According to Deputy Juanita Navarro of the Sheriff's Information Bureau, Ms Huang was accused of “interfering with a lawful arrest” and held at Century Regional Detention Center before she was released without bail and cited for “obstruction”. According to KPCC, Ms Huang had “visible bruises and scrapes, a sore shoulder and a blackened eye.”

LAist and KPCC have demanded that the sheriff’s office drop the charges against her: “We offer condolences to the two sheriff deputies who were shot Saturday evening. These are challenging and stressful times for everyone, but Josie Huang was arrested while doing her job."

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