LOS ANGELES (AP) — An intense hours-long search in South Los Angeles for two men suspected of shooting a police officer ended late Thursday with no sign of the suspects, police said.
More than 100 officers sealed off dozens of blocks, some going door-to-door, and police helicopters circled overhead after the shooting that occurred about 2:45 p.m. Thursday.
The officer and his partner had pulled over to question two men — one on a bike, the other on foot — and had barely gotten out of their patrol car when one of the men opened fire, Cmdr. Andy Smith said.
More than a dozen shots were fired, police said.
One officer was struck multiple times in the chest, wrist and hand, police said. He was listed in stable condition and was scheduled to undergo surgery Friday at California Medical Center to repair damage to his hand, Chief Charlie Beck said.
Beck said that the officer’s bulletproof vest likely saved his life.
The officer’s name was not released, but Beck said he is a seven-year veteran of the department assigned to the 77th St. Division. He is married and has no children.
Police said they would follow up on tips and evidence from the scene in efforts to find the two suspects.
A third man was detained early in the investigation for questioning and treated for unspecified injuries, but it wasn’t clear if he was a suspect or a bystander, Smith said.
The area where the shooting occurred is lined with tidy stucco, Spanish-style bungalows, many behind iron fences, with neatly kept lawns. Residents returning home from work were backed up for blocks in the cordoned-off area as police searched for the suspects.
Alexis Jones, 19, stood outside her family home waiting for her mother, who was delayed in traffic.
“Over here it’s really peaceful. I don’t ever hear any noises or gang violence or anything,” she said. “This is a shock to me, coming out and seeing all these helicopters and police cars.”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at an afternoon news conference that attacks on LAPD officers have increased.
“For the year, we’re up substantially — 29 percent — in the number of instances that our police officers have been shot at, so this is a great cause for concern,” Villaraigosa said.