Judge Finds LAUSD Police Officer Guilty In Shooting Hoax

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An L.A. County judge has found a Los Angeles Unified School District police officer guilty of lying to officials that he was shot by a burglary suspect when he actually shot himself.

“He’s a pretty damn good actor,” said Mike Brody, who was the first one to reach Stenroos after the alleged shooting. “That’s pretty much what I said, when he was writhing and groaning and rolling around on the ground, I said he had me completely fooled. I thought he was shot, and shot well.”

Jeff Stenroos was convicted of four felony and one misdemeanor counts. He faced charges ranging from insurance and workers compensation fraud, planting evidence and filing a false police report. The judge was still reviewing a sixth charge against the officer.

Stenroos, who was free on $30,000 bail, is back behind bars and has been ordered to undergo a psychological exam.

Prosecutors argued Jeff Stenroos lied in January when he said he was shot by a burglar near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills. He claimed he was sitting in his patrol car when the burglar came up and shot him point-blank in the leg.

stenroos surveillance video1 Judge Finds LAUSD Police Officer Guilty In Shooting Hoax

(credit: LAPD)

As seen only on KCAL9 News, an LAPD surveillance tape shows Stenroos, with his wife by his side, crying to investigators after he was shot. He begs them to find the man he claimed shot him.

“I was shot by a man, you must find him,” Stenroos said.

An investigator asks Stenroos whether the shooting was an accident.

“I wish it was,” Stenroos said.

The investigator repeatedly asks Stenroos if he’s willing to swear “before God” that he was intentionally shot by a burglary suspect.

Stenroos raises his right hand and swears he’s telling the truth.

None of it was true, prosecutors argued, supplying evidence that Stenroos shot himself.

What Stenroos eventually admitted to police was that he was cleaning his gun in his patrol car, outside the high school, when he accidentally shot himself in the leg. He then reported to 911 dispatchers that a burglar had shot him.

Stenroos’ claim prompted a large police response and several nearby schools were put on lockdown. The incident cost the city and the school district more than $400,000.

In August, he waived his right to a trial by jury.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy issued a statement following the verdict:

“Mr. Stenroos is a disgrace to the Los Angeles School Police Department, and this District. Since he has been found guilty of five of six counts in a court of law, our legal team can proceed more quickly with the required processes needed to end the officer’s employment.”

Superintendent Deasy will also recommend to the Board of Education that Stenroos be removed as a police officer and district employee. He has been on paid administrative leave following the incident.

Stenroos is due back in court Dec. 14 for sentencing. He could face five years in prison.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • lala63

    What reason would someone like him have to do this? Did he just want time off? Want to impress someone by saying he had been shot in the line of duty? I don’t know. How did he make it through the psychological exams during the hiring process in the first place? If he is nuts, how can he be sent to prison? I’m not defending him or supporting him. I’m just wondering these things sincerely.

    • Andrew P.

      No, he was cleaning his service weapon and accidentally discharged it. He’s not crazy; just a moron. Who cleans a weapon without removing the magazine anyway?

  • Linda

    DUH, couldn’t any of them SEE he hadn’t been shot ??? Didn’t anybody get hospitol and/or insurance claim papers ??? Geez, I’m glad none of them are cops in my area !!!

    • CJ

      DUH he was shot! He accidently shot himself while patrolling a high school and it hit his bullet proof vest and after he goofed up he made up a bogus story about being shot by a car burglary suspect.

    • lala63

      I think he had on a vest.

      • matt

        what good is a vest going to do if he is shot in the leg????

    • matt

      I’m glad you are not a cop either. Apparently you can’t read since the article states he WAS shot in the LEG!!!!!!!

  • lala63

    Right … I guess I just don’t know WHY you would think that you could get away with this kind of LIE. Why would you not just suck it up and admit the truth (no matter how embarrassing it may be). But then I guess there are not too many normal, honest people around anymore. I also don’t know how a cop manages to shoot himself with his own gun. I’m not a cop, and I’ve had my Lady Smith since I was 23 … so far, so good. lol

  • lala63

    and I’m 48 … (so that’s 25 years!). lol

  • darrell

    he did what a lot’s of cops do everyday in los angles LIE, his only problem was he did not lie the right way. he should have said he was shot by a black man, and that would have gotten him a raise, promoted, and a trip to the white house.

    • LaNita Noah


    • Andrew P.

      That’s it Darrell. And we all know black people don’t shoot cops right? Hell, blacks are about the most peaceful group on the planet. With the exception of black youth, that is, who apparently run around in mobs and rob/beat unsuspecting business owners and fair-goers. You are absolutely correct. Blacks don’t shoot anyone anymore (bullets = crack $ + gov’t handouts), whereas beatings simply require fists.

  • Lissa Gregorio

    It’s so sad that he’s been on paid leave this whole time while teachers like me (at the school that was locked down for 6 hours and the school he was supposed to patrol) are working our butts off to try to make the world a better place, a place where liars like him are appropriately punished.

  • Mouse

    None of you seem to have read the article. He shot himself in the leg. Not in the vest. Worse than this dude lying about the entire is the fact that you people couldn’t read.

  • http://losangelesforme.com/2011/09/judge-finds-lausd-police-officer-guilty-in-shooting-hoax-2/ Judge Finds LAUSD Police Officer Guilty In Shooting Hoax | Los Angeles for Me

    […] An Los Angeles County judge has found a former Los Angeles Unified School District police officer guilty of lying about being shot. More from: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com… […]

  • Chris

    Here’s what I feel was going through his mind at the time……He is parked near a high school…cleaning his gun, which, you are not supposed to do while on duty…..The Gun is not supposed to be removed from the holster unless there is probable cause….He shoots himself…fear panic and adrenaline are now in control….He goes with his first thought of creating a cover story and goes with it…..calls 911 and the motion is set. There is no way now to back track your story…the first initial call was locked in….Now he is trapped and must stick with the story. If it were me, I would have told the truth and taken a suspension, been fired or whatever they do for Gun violations then to go through what he went through….

    • Andrew P.

      He probably wasn’t even cleaning it. “Sarge, I lied, I was cleaning my weapon when it went off” sounds a lot better than the truth, “Sarge, I was playing with my service weapon, pretending I was a thug like my rap idols, holding it sideways and making bang! bang! noises when I accidentally shot myself”.

  • John Walters

    THOUSANDS of people were inconvenienced by this Dirt Bag Union Thug Including myself…I live in the San Fernando Valley and life is crazy enough as it is. I Hope they give him 5 years in the Joint and hope Bubba Takes Good Care of Him… The Police here in Los Angeles are becoming more of a Nuisance and Generally are absolutely WORTHLESS TO ME.

  • Amy

    And of course he’s white. My uncle patrol Van Nuys with LAPD and he always tells me that white officers (male and female) are always the most stupid when trying to cover their mistakes on their beat. Black, Asian and Hispanic officers are masters at covering their tracks and getting away with tons of things (which I can’t get into because the LAPD will track my IP address and come interview me for speaking the truth). :-)

    • John

      I am not sure if that is true. I feel that it is harder for white people because the others can say they are being discriminated do to their race, and can cost allot to prosecute the case because of this.

  • dislike the racism

    Now I hope everyone see the truth about Police… They ALL Lie and make up bogus stories. I swear most of them Lie to the court and Jury… They have put a lot of innocent people in jail and in the grave.
    All citizens. Do not believe everything the Police say. Look what they did to that poor homeless guy in Fullerton. Just think if he was a black guy and a white guy they killed and lied to cover up?
    They do these type of horrible crimes to Black people and Lie constantly. Liars.

  • John

    Everyone knows that COPs are no more then thefts liars and cheat that clam they have to be this way to catch thefts liars and cheats. The reel question is whom do we trust if a COP can do these things. The only thing the people can hope for is that they do not decide to kill people so they can fit into that crowd.

  • John

    LOL, I hope your from a small town.

  • Ekaterina Kaverina

    Police officers, please, please, return to dignity.

    • John McMahan


  • Taxpayer

    It’s amazing both the quality and quantity of police corruption that has been perpetuated unseen over the years.

    Every now and then we get a window into it. The Rampart Scandal was a big one… this is a small one but you just know they are but the tip of the iceberg.

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