MID-CITY (CBSLA.com) — A desk officer was shot seven times Monday night after a man opened fire in the lobby of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Traffic Division in Mid-City.
Around 8 p.m., the suspect walked in the lobby of the building, located in the 4800 block of Venice Boulevard, told the officer he had a complaint and then started shooting with a semiautomatic pistol.
A female and male officer returned fire and the man was struck multiple times.
The seven-year veteran desk officer, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was last listed in good condition. His wounds were reportedly to his shoulder.
Chief Charlie Beck visited with the injured officer and held a press conference outside Cedars-Sinai late Monday night, KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple reported.
“Just by the grace of God, we didn’t lose another one. To be shot seven times at close range by a semiautomatic pistol and be talking to me,” Beck said.
He also tweeted:
The suspect was in critical condition and undergoing surgery.
“Nobody I spoke with has recognized this guy as anybody we’ve encountered before, but it’s very early and only a few people got a look at him before he was transported to the hospital,” Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.
KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper reported that witnesses said they heard five to six shots fired, silence and then another five to six shots fired.
“I heard five shots and then I heard the police cars zooming down our street. It made me jump up and come out to see what’s going on. I saw police everywhere,” Diane Howard said.
A possible suspect vehicle was located nearby, which was investigated by the bomb squad.
Venice Boulevard was shut down between La Brea Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard.
The motive of the shooting is unknown.