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LAUSD Tightens Security After 3 Shootings In 2 Days

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Crisis counselors were on LAUSD campuses Thursday after an officer was shot near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills Tuesday.

Attendance Down At LAUSD Schools After Woodland Hills Shooting

School security is being tightened at all schools in the district after three shootings in just two days.

Tuesday’s on-campus shooting of two 15-year-old students at Gardena High School remains under scrutiny as the district conducts an assessment of all its high schools to ensure security procedures are being enforced.

“Since 1993, a Los Angeles Unified School District policy has required daily random searches for weapons at high schools,” Deputy Superintendent John Deasy said. “I have ordered that Gardena High School and all LAUSD high schools must comply with that policy.”

Three students were arrested in that shooting, but no students were involved in Wednesday’s shooting, district officials said.

Nine schools near Woodland Hills were also locked down for hours after Wednesday’s shooting as hundreds of officers scoured seven square miles for a gunman who shot a school police officer. However, no suspect has been found.

The search for the shooter was called off for the night late Wednesday, but Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese promised the investigation would continue until the suspect was caught. He said a composite sketch would be released soon.

Officer Jeff Stenroos, an eight-year veteran, was patrolling sometime after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday when he confronted a man who appeared to breaking into some cars on a city street near the El Camino Real High School campus, Steven K. Zipperman, police chief for the Los Angeles Unified School District said.

The man got out of a car and fired several times, hitting Stenroos at least once in the chest, city Police Chief Charlie Beck said.

Stenroos’ bulletproof vest saved his life, authorities said.

“He is a lucky man. The vest did its job and stopped the bullet,” Dr. Stephen Jones, medical director of emergency services of Northridge Hospital Medical Center, said of the officer. Stenroos was released from the hospital Wednesday night.

The bullet “did not penetrate the chest itself, but instead it bounced off the chest and caused a bruise to his chest,” Jones said. “He also suffered a fall, understandably, when you’re hit by a bullet, and he suffered minor injuries to his head and back in the fall itself, but nothing that is serious.” he added.

Jones said he spoke briefly with the officer.

“It was kind of a mixture of, ‘Boy, am I lucky,’ with the sheer … impact of having someone point a gun at you and feeling the impact of the bullet,” Jones said.

Also Wednesday, a 16-year-old boy was shot in a restaurant parking lot near his high school in the Los Angeles suburb of Bell, authorities said.

The Bell High School student was shot once in the abdomen, but his vital signs were good when he was taken to a hospital, Bell police Captain Anthony Miranda said.

A preliminary investigation determined the lone shot came from a pickup truck that sped away after the shooting, Miranda said. No arrests have been made, but authorities were questioning a person of interest in the case Wednesday evening.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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