LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles Police Department SWAT officer was shot and injured, but able to walk away from the scene, during a barricade situation in L.A. about a mile north of the University of Southern California campus on Tuesday afternoon.
The armed suspect, identified by family as 36-year-old Jorge Serda, was shot and killed by police at the scene.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore says the unnamed 17-year veteran officer is recovering in the hospital after being shot at twice — once in the chest — but that shot was blocked by the tactical vest.
The second shot was in the face, which was more severe, and caused the officer to be rushed to the hospital.
“I am thankful for the swat officer that risked their lives in rescuing him and getting him immediate medical attention,” Chief Moore said. “I am grateful to have visited the hospital..and to be bedside to this officer… obviously shaken and grateful to be alive.”
The incident began around noon Tuesday when officers were called about a man shooting in the backyard of a home on the 1000 block of West 21st Street in Exposition Park.
Family members said they asked police to resolve the incident without using lethal force.
“He has a fake BB gun. He went outside and shot it up in the air,” said Serda’s cousin Tanya Rayes. “We talked to him and when we talked to him he was having a bad day, saying he didn’t want to go to jail because he knew they called the cops. So we spoke to the police and asked them can we please do this without lethal force?”
Investigators say when they arrived, Serda barricaded himself inside the home.
After hours of negotiations, officers said they attempted to use tear gas to get the suspect out, but that’s when police say the suspect began shooting, so officers returned fire.
Serda was killed at the scene and officers say they recovered a handgun and a long rifle.