U.S. News


Gunman Walks Into LAPD Station, Shoots Officer 7 Times

LAPD officials say a man walked into the West Traffic Division lobby to make a complaint, then drew a handgun.
Posted at 9:00 AM, Apr 08, 2014

A Los Angeles police officer is alive and as his chief put it, "very, very lucky" after a gunman walked into an LAPD station lobby and opened fire.

REPORTER: "A man walked in and started firing inside the West Traffic Divison lobby around 8:00 p.m."

CMDR. DENNIS KATO, LAPD: "He stated something to the effect of 'I have a complaint to make,' withdrew a handgun and started opening fire on my front desk officers." (Via KNBC)

REPORTER: "Sky 2 shows the injured officer being put into the ambulance with a thumbs up."​ (Via KCBS)

Police say the gunman hit the officer seven times — three shots to his bulletproof vest and four to the extremities — before he returned fire along with another officer critically injuring the gunman.

After visiting the injured officer in the hospital, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck tweeted, "Just left our #LAPD officer's bedside at the hospital. Two things saved his life: #bodyarmor & #determination. Courageous will to survive." He also spoke with reporters. (Via Twitter / @LAPDChiefBeck)

CHIEF CHARLIE BECK, LAPD: "Just by the grace of God, we did not lose another one." (Via KCBS)

Chief Beck was referencing a string of injuries for LAPD officers over the last year.

A woman suspected of driving under the influence critically injured a motorcycle officer Saturday by rear ending him and pinning him between two vehicles. The station from Monday night's shooting has seen violence before, too. (Via KNBC)

REPORTER: "Last year, undercover detectives in this white vehicle were shot at outside the very same station. Law enforcement immediately launched a massive manhunt for the suspect." (Via KABC)

But that suspect seen here in surveillance video LAPD released last summer was never caught. While not being able to definitively connect the two cases, police said they couldn't rule out that possibility. (Via Los Angeles Police Department)

CMDR. DENNIS KATO, LAPD: "That's something we're definitely going to take a look at. Because two times — once last year and once this year — is ... it kind of shakes you up. We've got to really kind of dig into it and see if there's some kind of threat against this station." (Via KTLA)

The Los Angeles Times notes a neighborhood council meeting was being held next door to the police station. While a bullet did go into the meeting room, no one there was hurt.

Chief Beck said the injured officer was talking and in good spirits. The seven-year LAPD veteran will be fine. Police said the shooter was taken into surgery late last night with critical injuries.