LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles police officer remained hospitalized Sunday after he was attacked while on duty inside the Harbor Division Station of the LAPD.
29-year-old suspect Jose Cerpa Guzman is being held on $2,230,000 bail on a charge of the attempted murder of a police officer.
The incident happened around 10 p.m. Saturday night in San Pedro when the suspect walked into the police station asking to speak to a police officer. An officer came out into the lobby and an altercation ensued, at which point the suspect grabbed ahold of the officer’s weapon, firing shots in the station.
A watch commander hearing the shots came out to the lobby and returned fire. No one was struck as gunfire was exchanged.
Police say the suspect fled, and then led officers on a short pursuit before being taken into custody on 18th Street and Pacific Avenue.
The officer was taken to the hospital for injuries consistent with being pistol-whipped, among others.
“I am grateful that the officer who was in this incident tonight was working the desk, who came out to assist this individual, to understand what his needs were, that he survived and that during this engagement, he did not lose his life. He did not suffer the injury that apparently this suspect meant to inflict,” said Chief Michel Moore of the LAPD.
While the officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover soon, city leaders are calling for peace among the community and law enforcement members.
“What happened here at the police station was horrible but something horrible is happening in our country. There is too much of a divide in our values in law enforcement,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino. “Let’s be reminded. Our police officers are our angels in the City of Angels. They protect us.”
The lobby at Harbor Station is closed to the public because of coronavirus precautions, so it’s unclear exactly how the suspect got access to the building.
“The doors may have been ajar or somehow unlocked which allowed this individual to come in,” Moore said.
The officer who was injured was not identified but officials said he has 30 years of law enforcement experience.