WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) — A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man suspected of shooting and wounding a police officer in West Covina.
The officer, who has since been released from a hospital, was hit in the upper body about 11:20 p.m. Friday near the intersection of North Yaleton Avenue and Badillo Street, authorities said.
The suspect has been identified as 47-year-old Jose Chavez.
“Chavez fired numerous rounds at the officer as the officer attempted to detain him,” Deputy Sara Rodriguez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
The reward was announced at a news conference Wednesday morning at West Covina police headquarters.
West Covina police Wednesday also released additional details on the officer who was shot. He was identified as Kenny Benitez, who has been with the department for a year and-a-half and served three tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine.
The shooting took place, investigators said, when Benitez approached Chavez and Chavez’s girlfriend, believing the woman to be in trouble.
Chavez then opened fire on Benitez, investigators said.
In the shootout, Benitez was shot and investigators believe Chavez may have been wounded, too.
The suspect’s sister spoke to CBS2’s Dave Lopez Wednesday and told him to turn himself in to police.
“You need to turn yourself in,” the woman, Maria Tijerina, said.
Chavez is described as Hispanic, about 6-feet-1 inch tall, weighing 225 pounds, with dark hair and eyes and a left eyebrow piercing, Rodriguez said.
He should be considered armed and dangerous, she said.
The reward money was approved by the city of West Covina.
Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to contact sheriff’s homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can be provided through Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or http://lacrimestoppers.org.
(©2016 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)