LANCASTER (CBSLA) — A suspect is still on the loose after a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s station in Lancaster was targeted by gunfire Wednesday afternoon, leaving one young deputy wounded.
The shooting occurred just before 3 p.m. in the parking lot of the Lancaster Sheriff’s station in the 500 block of Lancaster Boulevard, according to sheriff’s officials.
The wounded deputy, identified as 21-year-old Angel Reinosa, was shot in the shoulder. He immediately radio’d for help after the shots rang out.
“I’m taking shots from the north of the Lancaster helipad,” he told dispatchers. “I’m hit in the right shoulder.”
Reinosa was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released.
“He is doing great, thankfully,” Capt. Todd Weber said Wednesday night. “The wound was minor, and he’s been treated and he’s doing well.”
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said a bulletproof vest which Reinosa was moments away from taking off may have saved his life.
“What he was doing was, he was getting ready to take that vest off,” Parris said. “Had he done so, this would be a much more tragic situation.”
Deputy Morgan Arteaga reported that other deputies were fired upon, but escaped uninjured. The deputies were in the parking lot behind the station when the shots broke out.
Two people were later detained, but authorities do not believe they were involved in the shooting. The two were not cooperating with investigators, a sheriff’s spokesperson said, and were later released.
According to the sheriff’s department, Reinosa had been stationed in Lancaster for three months as part of the patrol division.
Following the shooting, a perimeter was established and the area around Lancaster Boulevard and Sierra Highway was locked down. The LASD Special Weapons Team went door-to-door in search of the gunman. By 4 a.m. Thursday, the containment area was broken down with the suspect still at large.
The shots were believed to have been fired from an adjacent apartment building that, according to Parris, housed mentally ill residents.
“It’s a building filled with people who are being treated for mental illness, of course it’s a concern,” Parris said. “Of course it’s insanity to allow such a facility to exist in that particular location. He can’t say it, because the sheriff’s department has to be really politically correct about all this stuff, but let’s be realistic. It’s outrageous to have that population in that location, and thank God we’re not talking about a funeral as a result of it.”
L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the 5th District which includes Lancaster, issued the following statement in response to the shooting:
“I’m outraged that someone would target one of our brave deputies who work so hard to protect our communities. I stand in solidarity with the Sheriff’s Dept. in hoping the suspect is found quickly and brought to justice – and that our deputy has a full and speedy recovery. I have been in contact with the Sheriff and the Mayor to offer any assistance or resources needed.”