Authorities in Los Angeles have offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunman who ambushed two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies as they sat in a police cruiser, Saturday evening. (Update: The reward was upped tp $200,000 late Monday).
We at @LASDHQ would like to offer our sincerest appreciation for the overwhelming support being offered from all over the Nation.
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) September 13, 2020
Surveillance video footage shows the gunman walking up to a parked sheriff’s squad car and opening fire through the passenger-side window.
Update: The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation. pic.twitter.com/cBQjyKkoxJ
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) September 13, 2020
County officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying the gunman, who remains at large.
“The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation,” the department stated.
The 31-year-old female deputy was shot in the jaw and arms and was in a critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery, the BBC reported. The 24-year-old male deputy was hit in the forehead, an arm and a hand.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Sunday said on Monday that both officers are recovering in stable condition.
“They performed in an admirable fashion in spite of grave adversity,” Villanueva said during a conversation with local religious leaders. “God bless them.”
The sheriff said the deputies graduated together from the sheriff’s academy only 14 months ago.
A group of anti-police agitators Saturday night gathered outside the hospital where the critically injured deputies were being treated.
They tried to provoke deputies stationed outside and reportedly tried to break into the emergency room at one point. Video from the scene shows at least one person in the mob yelling, “I hope they … die.”
— Katie Daviscourt???????? (@KatieDaviscourt) September 13, 2020
“Unacceptable behavior. The hospital should be a sanctuary, we should leave hospitals alone,” Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez with the Churches in Action group told the TV station KABC.
Mendez and members of his group had gathered near the hospital in prayer for the wounded deputies.
An reporter from KPCC, a local NPR affiliate, was arrested on the scene. The sheriff’s department later tweeted that the reporter, Josie Huang, had interfered with the arrest of a male protester.
“The female adult, who was later identified as a member of the press, did not identify herself as press and later admitted she did not have proper press credentials on her person,” the department stated.
Megan Garvey, the executive editor of KPCC, expressed outrage that her reporter was arrested, and argued that she was wearing her credentials and had shouted her KPCC affiliation.
President Trump initially reacted to the shooting with visceral disgust: “Animals that must be hit hard!” he tweeted just past midnight on Sunday.
He later asked for prayers for the deputies and a quick trial and the death penalty for the killer.
If they die, fast trial death penalty for the killer. Only way to stop this! https://t.co/K3sKh28GjX
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2020
The president began his rally in Las Vegas, Nevada Sunday offering “love and support” to the officers and their families. “When we find that person, we got to get much faster with our courts, and we got to get much tougher with our sentencing,” Trump added.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2020
Joe Biden put out an equivocating statement on Sunday condemning “violence of any kind.”
This cold-blooded shooting is unconscionable and the perpetrator must be brought to justice.
Violence of any kind is wrong; those who commit it should be caught and punished.
Jill and I are keeping the deputies and their loved ones in our hearts and praying for a full recovery. https://t.co/330QfeIUGg
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 13, 2020
The former V.P. later put out a statement calling such “acts of lawlessness and violence” “counterproductive” to the left’s “peace and justice” agenda.
“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 said in his statement.
Sheriff Villanueva said Monday that both officers are recovering in stable condition and with a good prognosis.
“It’s just going to be a lot of time and a lot of therapy and recovery for them,” Villanueva said on Fox11’s Good Day LA.
The sheriff added that he is concerned about the escalation of hatred and violence being directed toward law enforcement in recent months.
“Well, obviously we’re concerned about the level of violence out there, the level of hatred being directed toward law enforcement in general and our department in particular,” he said.
Villanueva said that after the ambush, the female officer managed to apply a tourniquet to her partner and for help on the radio, and that it was “heart wrenching to listen to her to mumble the words to try to get help to her location.”
“That just illustrates the danger of this job and the deputies are back out there again. They’re not going to stop serving the community,” he said.
The reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunman was upped to $200,000 thanks to the contributions of anonymous donors and the county’s top transportation authority.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed in an interview with KABC 790 that two donors stepped forward with $25,000 and $50,000 to increase the $100,000 reward approved by the Board of Supervisors on Sunday.
Phillip A. Washington, the CEO of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Authority, also said Monday the agency would contribute another $25,000 to the reward.