Thursday, November 28, 2013
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — A man opened fire on two police officers outside a Los Angeles-area home, hitting and wounding one of them before holding his girlfriend and her 14-year-old daughter hostage in a nearly nine-hour standoff until he peacefully surrendered, police said.
The officer was shot in his bulletproof vest, while the second officer suffered minor injuries when she fell down during the melee. The two hostages and the gunman were not hurt, police said.
Reports of a family disturbance sent the two officers to the home around 12:30 p.m., police Capt. James D. Madia said.
The man in the home shot at the arriving officers "before they could even get to the front door," Madia said. Officers returned fire, and a video aired on KABC-TV captured more than a dozen shots being fired.
Officers pulled their wounded colleague out of the line of fire, Lt. Oscar Mejia said.
The Inglewood officer's protective vest stopped the bullet and he was taken to a hospital in good condition but "in a lot of pain," Madia said. The officer was later transferred to another hospital.
The female officer was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and released, police said.
Esther Frazier, who lives across the street from the standoff, said she was baking a cake for Thanksgiving when she heard a commotion and walked outside to see police officers banging on the door of the home.
She went back inside to turn off her oven when gunfire erupted.
"There were so many gunshots, oh my God, it was like you were in a war zone," she told the Los Angeles Times. "A shot came through the screen on my door.
"I am scared to death, I'm on my floor in the den," she said by telephone.
After the officer was shot, a policewoman trying to help and shield him fell and was slightly injured.
"The female officer began running back down the avenue. She collapsed in front of us ... and they slung her over the shoulder like a sack and took her out," witness Kimberly Edwards told KABC-TV.
Both injured officers have been with the department for at least a decade, Mejia said.
Police from Inglewood and neighboring communities, along with Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, swarmed the area and evacuated a block of homes.
The gunman, a 45-year-old man with a criminal history whose name was not immediately released, eventually began talking to negotiators and continued for several hours. At about 9:15 p.m., he released the hostages and walked out of his house with his hands up, police Lt. Mark Fried told the Daily Breeze.