Three Los Angeles Police Department officers were wounded Wednesday when gunfire erupted during a confrontation with a suspect, who was later pronounced dead, officials said.
Police were in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon searching for a parolee at large when they found the suspect inside a shed, LAPD Commander Stacy Spell said.
The suspect refused officers’ orders to come out and police used a chemical agent to try to get the person to comply, according to police.
“That suspect responded to that chemical agent by opening the shed and opening fire on the officers,” Spell said.
Three officers – described as senior K-9 officers – were struck by gunfire and taken to a hospital, where they were listed as stable, according to LAPD Assistant Chief Alfred Labrada.
During the confrontation, at least one officer returned fire, according to Labrada, but how many officers opened fire and the number of shots fired remain under investigation.
A city-wide tactical alert was declared, and a SWAT team swept through the area, searching for the suspect.
The suspect – who has not been identified – was later found unresponsive and declared dead by paramedics, Spell said. It’s unclear how the suspect died.
As the standoff unfolded, aerial footage from the scene showed a major police response in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood.
“Every day, the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department put themselves in harm’s way,” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said at a news conference. “Tonight is a reminder that the danger is very real. I’m relieved and grateful that these three brave officers are in stable condition and are able to have a conversation – with two of them, when I checked in on them just now.”
Officials with the police union’s board of directors said the officers are on a “path to a full physical recovery.”
“Although we believe they will recover physically, each of these officers will live with the memory of almost losing their lives at the hands of a wanted fugitive in a hail of gunfire,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League Board said.
The shooting was a reminder of the inherent dangers officers face every day, the board said.