WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were ambushed on Saturday night while they were sitting inside a parked squad car.
- The deputies are in critical condition after suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
- The search for the suspect continues as officials ask for the public’s help to identify the gunman.
Authorities continue their search for a shooter who walked up to a parked sheriff’s squad car and opened fire through the passenger-side window, critically wounding two Los Angeles County deputies. The incident was recorded in a surveillance video.
Asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect, officials are also offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
The victims: a 31-year-old female deputy and a 24-year-old male deputy who underwent surgery after the shooting were expected to recover, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
“The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation,” the department stated.
A few seconds after the shooting, the passenger door opens and a deputy stumbles out, hand on head. The driver’s side door opens soon after. They were able to radio for help, the sheriff said.
The video sparked a reaction from President Donald Trump who responded on Twitter: “Animals that must be hit hard!”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden turned to Twitter to condemn the shooting. “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.”
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the hospital where the two deputies were being treated. The protesters tried to provoke deputies stationed outside and at one point were prevented from entering the emergency room, Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez with the Churches in Action group told the TV station KABC.
“Unacceptable behavior. The hospital should be a sanctuary, we should leave hospitals alone,” Mendez said. The bishop added that members of his group gathered nearby in prayer for the injured deputies.
Videos from the scene recorded at least one person in the crowd yelling, “I hope they … die.”
Josie Huang, a reporter for public radio station KPCC, who was near the protest scene was taken into custody. The sheriff’s department later issued a statement that Huang interfered with the arrest of a male protester.
After being released, Huang tweeted that she had been covering the sheriff’s news conference when she returned to the hospital after hearing protesters shouting. She was wearing her press pass, she said.
The executive editor of the station, Megan Garvey, expressed anger over Huang’s arrest and said her reporter appeared to be wearing her credentials and had shouted her KPCC affiliation. NPR’s Editorial Director Nancy Barnes said the network was “appalled” by the arrest of a reporter doing her job.
The office of the Los Angeles County Inspector General, which oversees investigations and actions of the sheriff’s department, has opened an investigation into the reporter’s arrest.