School Officer Shot Last Week Under Arrest

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — LAUSD police officer Jeff Stenroos, who was shot in the chest while wearing body armor last week, has been arrested for allegedly filing a false report, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a news conference held Thursday night.

The report Jan. 19 touched off a widespread school lockdown as hundreds of police searched for a suspect, and a reward was offered.

But Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said there was no gunman or outstanding suspect and Officer Jeffrey Stenroos was in custody.

Beck declined to release more information because the investigation is ongoing.

Stenroos claimed a burglary suspect shot him in the chest while he was patrolling a street near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills. He said his bulletproof vest saved his life.

The official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak about the case, said Stenroos was mishandling a firearm when he was shot, but he did not go into any more detail.

Nine schools were locked down and seven square miles of quiet suburban neighborhoods were blocked off after the reported shooting. Beck had defended the aggressive response to the shooting.

“We go where these investigations take us,” he said at a two-minute news conference Thursday night. “Finding the truth and obtaining some form of justice is what we’re about.”

More than 350 officers from five agencies scoured the area, gathering hundreds of clues, canvassing neighborhood and reaching out to residents to drum up leads in the case, Beck said.

Three schools nearby kept students in classrooms for hours without access to food or bathrooms. The high school finally released its students more than five hours later. Stenroos was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital later that night.

Police later released a sketch of the suspect that Stenroos described. Authorities mustered $100,000 in reward money for information leading to the suspected shooter’s arrest.

Los Angeles Police Protective League president Paul Weber said he was “disgusted” to hear about Stenroos’ arrest and apologized to the public for his actions.

“His lies set into motion the largest search for a suspect in recent history and inconvenienced thousands of people for hours,” the police union president said. “If these allegations are proven
true, Mr. Stenroos is now where he belongs, behind bars.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Dan

    That was wrong on so many levels,the wasted man hours and the poor children and their familys,what a nightmare….WOW!!!

    • art



        It’s not LAPD who has the copyright for lying, but its the LA school police. However, they all where a badge, have extensive background checks, see the psych, and after all of that — still commit crimes. This merely shows no matter who you purport to be, you are still you. Darren Chaker

      • notlovinLA

        That’s a stupid thing to say, art. Most cops ARE NOT liars. Maybe that’s the kind of life you live and think everyone else is the same way, but I happen to think most cops are very good and trustworthy servicemen of the law. You should be ashamed of yourself for generalizing. Tsk, tsk.

      • david sanders

        art is an idiot. pure and simple. I’m amazed you can actually type. Do you grunt words or actually speak?

      • So what!!

        Hahaha!!!! What world do you guys live in……. Cops are the biggest liars there is they are above the law and they know it!!!!!! This pig will get a slap on the wrist thats it, what MORONS, im selling a magic lamp idiots…..

      • notlovinLA

        Uh… So what!!, I’ve read your other comments from other articles. Your comments then and your comment now only prove to me that YOU are the moron. Your best option in life is to go back to school, dear. It’ll do you some good. You have A LOT of learning to do.

  • krg

    You have GOT to be kidding me! If this is true that guy needs to go to jail for a long damn time and he needs to spend the rest of his life for the payroll for that operation.

  • Red ryder

    Just Another psyco with a gun and badge

  • willblogforlols

    Looks like he shot himself in the foot.

  • Shawn M.

    So, how did he get shot? I mean, some guy supposedly witnessed the shooting. Now there is no shooter? Something doesn’t sound right here! Is it me or does this sound like the LAPD wants people in the community to have peace of mind that the residents of Woodland Hills live in a safe area.

    • ljk

      the guy did not witness the shooting…he witnessed the cop laying on the ground…watch the clip

  • david

    so who shot who?

  • Alanasdad

    Need to aim higher next time.

  • Corrupt Cops

    I knew his story was suspicious from the beginning of the search for the suspect. The story did not add up.

    You’re a Cop and you hide from a shot to the chest and u wearing an armor vest??? You’re a Cop, where’s the bravery?? Sounded fishy from the start.. There are real brave Cops who were shot many times and still pursue their suspect(s). I was commenting on the Original story when it came out that this dude is a Coward.. Turns out? He’s arrested for filing a false report.. LoL.

    What a waste of 400+ officers, helicopters, etc.. Taxpayers sucking up this one enormous bill..

    • SP

      You are a moron… lets see how you respond with a gun to your chest!

      • Corrupt Cops

        Why me? I’m not a Cop, it’s their line of duty. Also, he’s wearing an armor vest, Cops don’t hide or run from this situation, it’s why they took the job. He’s obviously not up for the job. He should just quit and stay home instead of showing up. After all, he lied and i hope they put him in jail for a long time for lying under the color of authority & wastes of Taxpayers $$$$$$$…

        SP, you’re the idiot..!!

      • Corrupt Cops

        Next time you call people Morons on the internet, make sure you read the whole story 1st before being an internet tough guy..
        The corrupt cop is now in Jail for filing a false report.. idiot!!!

      • Kau Phaart

        would that be the gun you’re hold to your OWN chest, rofl – silly SP, tricks are for pigs!

      • Not newsworthy

        Shut up sp u sound Like u r a pig too prolly are that’s why u backin him up

    • SP

      He is in there for ALLEGEDLY filing a false report… ever hear of Innocent until proven guilty? And no, you obviously are no an officer, or ever serviced in any public service. I have served 5 honorable years in the the United States Marine Corps, and i can tell you, You NEVER know if that vest will stop the bullet, there are MANY factors involved. What Rounds he has, How large of a Caliber, If he Self Packed them. All of these can make a vest null and void. So until you find yourself in the same situation, you can keep your mouth shut about someone else’s courage.

      • mark

        ok there flat top nerd……..relax

      • Corrupt Cops

        Don’t really care what you do, we’re talking about this bad cop here.. Obviously he will serve time in prison for falsifying reports. He wasted a lot of resources & taxpayer’s $$$$$..
        Again, we’re talking about this case, not me, not your Stints in Iraq or Afghanistan. I don’t really care about your life stories or how brave or tough you are just coz ur an ex-marine. Nobody cares.. Idiot!!

      • Scott A

        Guilty until proven innocent is for courtrooms. We are in a discussion group and people are entitled to their opinions.

    • Shut Up

      From your screen name, you are the idiot.

  • SJP

    I personally know this guy, and I don’t understand what they are talking about… he WAS shot in the chest, there was a hole in the front of the vest, and they searched while he was unconscious. So before you people go blowing up on him, or about him, wait till the information has been confirmed and a full report is released.

    • tony

      obviously he is under arrest…can’t trust a fu…. cop..

      • SJP

        Cant trust a cop… Who are you going to trust… Your local Gang Member? Yeah… Like THAT is going to happen.

    • Scott A

      He was shot in the chest, the police are not disputing that. What they are disputing is how he was shot in the chest. It appears it was NOT due to some criminal shooting him but he shot himself either accidentally or on purpose.

    • Karen

      I am not certain you read the article. He was shot because he mishandled the gun. I suspect that is true which is why he was arrested. And frankly, he should have just said he made an error instead of putting everyone through what they had to do because of the fear that there was some shooter out there.

  • Ed

    Reading between the lines, he may have shot himself, personable accidentally.

  • Ed

    Should have read as “presumably,” not “personable.”

  • Shorty

    Apparently,Chief Beck did make a statement the guy did make a FLASE police report, and there was a news conference…. So I would think it was confirmed……Your buddy shot himself wouldn’t you think????

    • wendy

      no i wouldnt think ! he is my nephew and if it was false there had to be good reason for it because he is not a bad guy!!!

      • Scott A

        Is there EVER a good reason to file a false police report? Especially if you are the police?

    • SJP

      No, I do NOT believe that he did, if anything I believe that the Police cannot find the guy and he is going to take the rap to make sure that people in that area sleep better at night.

      • Goot

        Unbelievable optimism SJP. I commend you for standing by your family/friend. I’m sure I’d do the same but…..

      • Karen

        SJP – I agree that you are a great friend. Great friends also help their friends through moral dilemmas.

        I believe that he accidentally shot himself and was too embarrassed to admit it.

        I believe that because cops have the most vigilant attitude when going after someone who hurts/kills another cop. The reward was $100,000 and NO PERPETRATOR was ever found.

  • Jon

    Alanasdad you make a good point…. this guy’s life is over as of that day. not only disliked by civilians but his own Brothers and Sisters of law enforcement this guy is seriously mentally disturbed WOW! didn’t ever think I would ever condone this but perhaps he should have taken a drive to the mountains and taken his own life and leave the rest of the world out of his personal problems.

  • sc

    If he did shoot himself which I find very easy to believe, it would be very easy to find out since the bullet from his gun still remains in his vest. He probably played with his gun while on a break instead of patrolling the schools and was ashamed to admit the truth. Well…..this costs us–the tax payers millions of $$$.

    • Scott A

      The bullet from the gun would be in the vest whether he shot himself or if some suspect shot him.

      • AZLori

        What sc is saying is that they can match the bullet with his own gun, meaning it will be easy to prove if he shot himself.

      • Karen

        Maybe that is how the police made the conclusion that he shot himself and are just not releasing it to the public.

        I don’t think the police would lightly charge one of their own with a crime.

  • Mel

    WOW. I think they spent over 6 million on this Investigation. This guy must have had another guy shoot him or they would have matched bullets right away

  • patrick kirkpatrick

    i suggest you change out the logo, since the LOS ANGELES SCHOOL POLICE DEPARTMENT is NOT the LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT.

    • mr very correct

      Good luck proving me wrong, as I was LASPD for 5 years, and did regular LAPD shifts on the weekend. Not to mention full LAPD rookie school, and going to downtown to pick up my patrol car for weekend non school shifts. Hard headed morons.

    • mr correct

      actually, to correct you, LASPD IS LAPD. They are LAPD officers assigned to schools. They do regular LAPD shifts and assignments as well when schools are closed, or on weekends.

      • Gus

        You are wrong, Mr Correct. According to the LASPD website, they have their own Chief of Police and everything. They even have their own badge.

      • Rabbi Pedro Goldstein

        Mr Correct you are a complete moron.

      • avg_guy

        LASPD is NOT LAPD. And neither are the LAX Police, LA Port Police, UCLA Police Dept, USC Police Dept, Burbank Airport Police Dept, or the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. They are all separate entities.

  • KPR

    A similar incident happened back in 1999, in south Orange County, when then CHP Officer Gary Burnett shot himself in the arm and claimed he was shot by a motorist he had pulled over. Shut down the I-5 freeway in San Clemente for hours that day. Experts attributed to possible Munchausen Syndrome. Still, no excuse, and yes, he’s done in law enforcement.

  • T Garcia

    My son goes to El Camino High School, they didn’t even eat while they where on lockdown. El Camino even was hit with a financial loss today at their Prom Expo held by student council. Vendors didn’t show up and didn’t pay money for their spot. The school lost over $2,000 because the vendor where worried about the safety of there products and employees. I feel bad for the principle, he’s really cares for the students. The cops where all over the school today like they where criminals. It was embarrassing to have so many cops around after hearing that it was a lie. I feel that El Camino High School should get a public apology from the city and LAPD. They where humiliated in front of the whole world. These students don’t deserve this.

    • Gus

      An apology for doing their best to try to keep kids safe? “I’m sorry that we thought there was a dangerous person on campus. Next time this happens, we’ll treat it as a joke, and hope nothing bad happens.”

      • Goot

        Gus what you’re saying really is kind of nonsensical. Security personnel can’t go around creating phantom bad guys. Who can you trust then?

    • Karen

      I feel for you and the kids. The person who should apologize is the cop who shot himself. HE’S the one who is responsible for this fiasco.

      I wish he was rich enough to pay the city back for all the money it spent on a lie.

  • SJP

    You people have serious issues. Something like this happens and you all jump on the bandwagon to say he is guilty, I bet you are the same group of people who thought OJ was innocent! Anything to prove that the Government is corrupt and out to get you! This man is NOT a bad person, he is a great guy. Wait till the report comes in, IN FULL, before throwing around accusations and wanting this man dead. You accuse him of being Mentally Ill, and yet, I find your actions to be just as disturbing and his ALLEGED actions. This man was willing to take a bullet for your people or your children, and you will Crucify him the first chance you get. You people are truly disturbed.

    • Mel

      You Idiot SLP. It’s already a fact It was a hoax or fraud

      • SJP

        No… it isn’t. It is allegedly a hoax! Hence the reason it is still under investigation. Just you people who want to find something wrong with our Government, and Police are saying its a guaranteed thing.

    • Karen

      Do you want to be my friend? Your loyalty is the best. Your friend shot himself I am sorry to say. There is no doubt he must be a great friend. He just has an issue he needs to resolve. The sooner you all admit it, the sooner you can move forward.

  • Skeptical

    I suspected this all along, and if you read my comment from last week at this very page you’ll see what I wrote, and you’ll also read all the angry replies from other readers who read what I wrote, calling me stupid, and crazy to think the officer was a fraud. Are you there, ‘Punisher’? Ha, all the signs were there it was a fake shooting. I’ve never seen a guy overreact to a shot that never punctured his skin.

  • M.R.

    This is fact…He was having an affair with teacher at El Camino HS. Her husband found out and shot him,and it happened out of the area…he came back to woodland hills..were he said he got shot…youll see the story will come out

    • BOGUS

      That’s BS. So he rather LIED & risk his Career, Time in Jail, & keep the husband out of Jail for an affair? Total BS..

      Many Politicians had affairs and they’re not as blatant as this Loser. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had several affairs with news reporters & he ended up in a divorce from his wife. But nothing as dramatic as this Loser.

  • Darren Chaker

    Darren Chaker – This proves two things: cops do lie, thus not entitled to an aurora of truth when in court, and cops are really just people who do the exact same things us normal non-super hero types do — lie.

  • oscar medina

    im very sadden to say this guy should be locked up for a long time. I retired from D.O.J. on 9/11/2010 I still can’t believe there are people like this around.

  • LAPD 4 U

    If I were any of the men that were detained (and it was lot of guys with long hair being pulled over, accosted walking in the area unknowingly, etc) should sue. Police can only detain you with specific and articulable facts. The FACT that the officer lied meant there were no facts which makes all the detentions null and void.

    • avg_guy

      You’re wrong. The police only need Reasonable Suspicion to detain somebody. (Then Probable Cause to arrest, then Beyond a Reasonable Doubt to convict.)
      Those detentions are NOT null and void because the average officer would have Reasonable Suspicion to make those detentions based on the information they had at the time. Very easy to articulate.

  • Regina Moultrie

    Didn’t he think he’d be able to stand the ridicule if he had just told the truth?

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