Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva has warned officers to “look out for each other,” as the search continues for the suspect in a shooting of two deputies at the weekend.
On Saturday, two deputies were shot while sitting in their patrol car at a Metro rail station in Compton, California, and police are still searching for the shooter.
The deputies, a 24-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, are expected to recover after they both underwent surgery over the weekend, with the former released from hospital on Wednesday, according to Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva.
On Saturday, the department released footage of the shooting from a nearby surveillance camera, and offered a $100,000 (£77,556) reward, which has since been increased to $300,000 (£232,222), to anyone who could help identify the alleged shooter.
The surveillance footage showed a suspect walk up to the patrol car and fire two shots into the passenger side window before running from the scene.
Speaking to ABC News earlier in the week, Mr Villanueva warned officers to look out for each other, while the search for the shooter continued.
“This is going to cause us to be a lot more concerned about when we approach vehicles when we’re out there on the streets,” he said.
“We have everybody paired up in two-man vehicles now. So, we’re going to have to be watching out for each other’s back out there on the streets,” the sheriff added.
On Sunday, a social media post that claimed to identify the suspect in the shooting spread, which prompted the department to refute the claims.
The department tweeted: “Currently, there is a social media post that is being circulated which identifies a male out of the Los Angeles area as the suspect responsible for the ambush of our two deputies yesterday.
“This is ERRONEOUS information and there are no named or wanted suspects at this time.”
The authorities were also forced to confirm that a man arrested following a car chase on Tuesday was not linked to Saturday’s shooting, after there was speculation on social media.
In recent weeks, the department has faced scrutiny over police brutality, following more than three months of Black Lives Matter protests across the US that were sparked by the death of unarmed black man George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police.
A small group of Compton residents protested against police outside the hospital where the deputies were recovering on Sunday, with the sheriff describing the gathering as an “unlawful assembly of a group of protesters.”
The FBI is aiding the department with its ongoing investigation into Saturday’s shooting.
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