A car-to-car beef preceded an officer-involved shooting today at a Westwood pro-Israel rally that was also attended by Palestine sympathizers, authorities said.
A "verbal and physical altercation" took place between the occupants of two vehicles at the end of the protest outside the Westwood Federal Building, an L.A. County Sheriff's Department official told us.
An officer with the Federal Protective Service, which is part of Homeland Security, opened fire, she said, but no one was struck:
Two people were subsequently arrested, the sheriff's official said.
It happened about 5:45 p.m. at Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue. News reports indicated that one of the vehicles was a pickup carrying demonstrators who were waving Palestinian flags.
The Jewish Journal reported that the truck took off but was later stopped by police nearby. The publication says the altercation started when pro-Palestinian demonstrators allegedly attacked opponents with sticks.
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The sheriff's official told us "several victims" were involved. No serious injuries were reported. About 1,200 people were estimated to have attended the rally.
The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is investigating both the officer-involved shooting and the alleged assault.
Palestinian forces in the Gaza Strip have launched more than 800 rockets into Israel in recent days, sparking a response that has included missile attacks and an imminent new military operation against Hamas militants.