LAPD Officer Injured After Shots Fired at Police Station

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Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 8:43 PM
  • File photo by Ted Soqui for LA Weekly
Updated at the bottom: This was a full-on shootout. Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement on the attack.

An LAPD officer was injured after someone opened fire at the department's West Traffic Division in Mid-City, police said.

The attack was reported at 8 p.m. at the Wilshire Division, which also includes West Traffic facilities, on Venice Boulevard near La Brea Avenue, Officer Sara Faden told L.A. Weekly.

A person who is not a cop was also injured in the attack, she said:

A suspect was in custody, Faden said. It's not clear if the injured civilian and the suspect are one and the same.

The officer appeared to have sustained non-life-threatening wounds. Faden said it was possible the cop was injured by shrapnel, but details were not yet clear.

KCAL9's helicopter tracked an ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center near Beverly Hills.

Venice Boulevard between La Brea Avenue and Rimpau Boulevard was shut down, police said.

Motive for the violence was unknown.

Last year officers outside that very station were ambushed by a shooter who apparently got away. A man dressed in black pulled the trigger, injuring two cops, police said.

See also: See also: LAPD Detectives Shot in Ambush at Wilshire Division

It's not clear if this incident is related.

[Update at 9:25 p.m.]: The attack turned into a full-on shootout, according to police.

Faden of the LAPD told us a "suspect entered the lobby of the West Traffic Division and began shooting."

"The officer working the front desk returned fire, striking the suspect," she said. "During the exchange of gunfire the officer was also struck by the suspect's gunfire."

Faden said there were preliminary reports the officer might have been hit in a shoulder by gunfire. She said she assumed the cop was wearing a ballistic vest, but she wasn't 100 percent sure.

The extent of the suspect's injuries were unknown.

KCAL9 said a witness reported hearing multiple shots, perhaps as many as six, followed by a return volley that included about just as many rounds.

[Added at 10:05 p.m.]: Cmdr. Andrew Smith told reporters at the scene that a man walked into the lobby of West Traffic Division, said he had a complaint, and opened fire, hitting an officer four times.

Two officers returned fire, striking the suspect, he said, who was hospitalized in critical condition. The suspect was undergoing surgery, he said.

The officer who was hit suffered non-life-threatening wounds and was indeed wearing a ballistic vest, Smith said.

A bomb squad was at the scene checking out a vehicle that might be connected to the shooting suspect, according to television reports.

A man who was attending a community meeting in a room at the station told KTLA News as many as 20 rounds started flying and that "one bullet came into our room."

[Added at 10:44 p.m.]: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck reportedly said that the officer took seven rounds, including three in his ballistic vest and four in his "extremities."

The chief also tweeted this:
Just left our #LAPD officer's bedside at the hospital. Two things saved his life: #bodyarmor & #determination. Courageous will to survive.
[Added at 11:03 p.m.]: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti issued this statement tonight:
I've spoken by phone with the LAPD officer who was shot tonight at Wilshire Station. He is doing well and is in good spirits. I wish him a speedy recovery.
Outside Cedars-Sinai, Chief Beck had this to say:
To be shot seven times at close range by a semi-automatic pistol and to be talking to me. ... just by the grace of God we did not lose another one.

... After being hit seven times, he returned fire and saved his own life and the life of his partner.
Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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