The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department put up a six-figure reward Sunday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man who ambushed and shot two sheriff’s deputies while they were sitting in their patrol car by a metro station in Compton, California.
“We at the LASD would like to offer our sincerest appreciation for the overwhelming support being offered from all over the Nation. We also wish to thank the LA County Board of Supervisors for sponsoring the $100K reward for the arrest and conviction of this coward,” announced the sheriff’s department in a statement Sunday.
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
Investigators have described the suspect as a black male who was wearing dark clothing at the time and appeared to be between 28-30 years old. Sheriff’s Department Homicide Captain Kent Wenger said he could not draw further conclusions about the suspect’s height and weight because the surveillance video that captured the shooting used a fish-eye camera lens, which he said can distort footage and the appearance of the suspect.
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
According to ABC7, a senior LASD official told the news agency that one of the sheriff’s deputies, a 31-year-old mother, is in critical but stable condition after she was shot in the jaw and arms. The other deputy, a 24-year-old male, was described as alert after he was shot in the forehead, arm, and hand.
The sheriff’s department has not confirmed the deputies’ condition or released their identities. Sheriff Alex Villanueva indicated Saturday evening that both of the deputies were relatively recent additions to the force, having been sworn in by him only 14 months ago.
During a press conference on Saturday evening, Villanueva described the shooting as a “somber reminder” that law enforcement officers have a difficult job, which “does not get any easier because people don’t like law enforcement.”
Shortly after Villanueva’s remarks — as if to bolster his point — a handful of anti-police demonstrators showed up to the hospital and shouted hateful things at the law enforcement officers standing guard as their fellow deputies inside the building fought for their lives.
One of the demonstrators that evening filmed himself approaching the hospital and seemed to identify himself as a member of the Africa Town Coalition.
BLM protesters trying to breach St. Francis hospital where two officers are fighting for their lives after being shot in an ambush.
Part 1 pic.twitter.com/0x3uj04ahW
— MKViti (@selfdeclaredref) September 13, 2020
According to a Los Angeles Times article from 2018, a man named Kevin Wharton Price helped found the Africa Town Coalition to establish an autonomous community for black people in Los Angeles with the ultimate goal of creating similar communities around the country.