On Saturday, two deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were shot and critically injured in a seemingly unprovoked attack by an anonymous gunman. The two officers are now out of surgery and in recovery, according to a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s office.
Confirming the good news, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said “it looks like they’re going to be able to recover,” though he added caution to his optimism. “We’ll see what the long-term impact is,” the Sheriff said. “We don’t know that yet, but they survived the worst.”
On Saturday night, the deputies, one a 34-year-old mother and the other a 24-year-old male officer, sat in a car in Compton, CA when the police say they were “ambushed.” The suspect approached from behind the deputies’ vehicle, and walked along the passenger side. That’s when he raised a pistol and shot the officers multiple times.
After the attack, the Sheriff’s Department released video footage of the incident, which appears to show a person in dark clothing nearing the deputies’ car, shotting off a handgun, and then running away. Soon after, emergency responders rushed both deputies to a local hospital, where the Sheriff’s office says they are “both still fighting for their lives.” Both deputies had only joined the force fourteen months prior to the attack.
“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job,” an emotional Sheriff Villanueva said of the ambush. “Actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,” he said, referring to a summer filled with civil unrest and faltering public opinion about the police. “It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time. There’s no pretty way to say it.”
By Sunday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Department was offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. But as of now, the gunman remains at large. Meanwhile, the hospital where the two deputies are recovering is under heavy police protection, in an attempt to discourage massive gatherings of demonstrators or the press.
Presidential Candidates Respond
Both President Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden denounced the shooting soon after. In Las Vegas, Trump told a group of Latino supporters, “When we find that person we got to get much faster with our courts, and we got to get much tougher with our sentencing.”
Subsequently, Biden released a statement calling the incident “absolutely unconscionable.”
“Acts of lawlessness and violence directed against police officers are unacceptable, outrageous, and entirely counterproductive to the pursuit of greater peace and justice in America — as are the actions of those who cheer such attacks on,” Biden wrote.