Two Los Angeles County Sheriff MPs were seriously injured after they were shot dead in what the authorities called an "ambush" on Saturday night in Compton, which was recorded on surveillance video.
The video released by the department shows a man walking towards the MPs' parked patrol car, pulling out a gun and shooting several times from the passenger side into the front seat area. The attacker then runs away from the scene.
The sheriff's department reported that the shooting occurred around 7 p.m. near the Blue Line station at 275 Willowbrook Avenue.
“A male proxy and a female proxy were ambushed while they were in their patrol car. Both suffered multiple gunshot wounds and are in critical condition. Both are currently being operated on, ”said a statement from the department.
The department later said neither of them had been operated on. Law enforcement sources told the Times that at least one MP was shot in the face and the other in the head.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva (second from left) leaves his press conference outside the emergency room at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where two LA County Sheriff MPs are being treated after they were shot dead Saturday night.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
At a press conference at the hospital late Saturday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva described one of the injured MPs as a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy and the other as a 24-year-old man. He said both MPs were sworn into office only 14 months ago.
"The two MPs were cowardly attacked by a shooter," he said. "It's a dangerous job."
He noted that the sheriff's detectives shot and killed a man in Compton on Thursday who they said opened fire on them when they were issuing a search warrant.
"Every week across the country someone loses their life in the ministry," he said. "This is just another grim reminder of it."
Rep. Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles) also spoke at the press conference.
"This was an unprovoked cowardly act," he said. "The individual will be caught and justice will prevail."
"Tonight we as a community must condemn the perpetrator's act," he added. "More importantly, we come together and pray for the officers because they are heroes."
LAPD boss Michael Moore also offered his support.
"Tonight we pray for the survival of these two guards," the boss tweeted. “I recognize and acknowledge that we live in difficult times. But we have to work through our differences as a community while loudly and firmly condemning the violence. Blessed are the peacemakers. "
No further details were immediately available, and it was unclear whether detectives had identified a suspect. The FBI supports the investigation.
Detectives comb the scene where two LA County Sheriff's MPs were shot and seriously injured on Saturday night in Compton.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Some local law enforcement officers used social media to express their anger and disgust at the shooting.
"I hope this monster is caught soon," tweeted LAPD Captain Gisselle Espinoza. "I am sick in the stomach. The delegates are in my prayers. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God."
Both MPs were members of the sheriff's transportation division.
Metro has split policing for its 1,433-mile service area – including 93 train stations and nearly 14,000 bus stops – among three agencies: the Los Angeles Police Department, which oversees buses, trains, and stations in the city of LA; Long Beach Police, who operate eight stations on the Blue Line; and the sheriff's department, which oversees the rest of the system.
That summer, Metro's board of directors approved a number of police reform measures, including sending armed officers to respond to non-violent crimes, hiring unarmed ambassadors to work at train stations and extending discounts.