By Edwin Folven, 4/08/2014
Police critically injure suspect in exchange of gunfire
An officer stationed at the front desk of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Traffic Division was shot seven times on Monday by a gunman who walked into the police station on Venice Boulevard and opened fire.
The unidentified officer survived the shooting and is being treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Initial reports stated the officer was a wearing a ballistic vest that stopped some of the bullets, but LAPD spokeswoman Rosario Herrera said on Tuesday that investigators have now learned that the officer was not wearing a ballistic vest. LAPD chief Charlie Beck said the officer was “very, very lucky.”
The wounded officer and a second officer at the front desk in the lobby exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was identified as Daniel Yealu, 29. The suspect was shot multiple times and remained hospitalized in critical condition on Tuesday, Herrera said.
She did not have any further information about the wounded officer’s condition, other than he was “struck multiple times” but is expected to survive. He is a seven-year veteran of the LAPD.
No additional injuries were reported in the incident, which occurred near an ongoing community meeting in an adjacent room with approximately 35 people in attendance. After the shooting, police cordoned off Venice Boulevard and the neighborhoods surrounding the police station, which also houses the LAPD’s Wilshire Division.
Authorities did not release any information about a motive early Tuesday. Media reports stated the suspect spoke briefly with the officers at the front desk before pulling out a handgun and firing. An LAPD Bomb Squad detail later searched the suspect’s car, which was parked near the police station at 4849 Venice Blvd., and recovered another firearm and ammunition, Herrera said.
“It’s an ongoing investigation that will take a while,” she added.
Capt. Eric Davis, commanding officer for the LAPD’s Wilshire Division, was reached by phone on Tuesday but declined to comment on the shooting. Investigators were expected to remain at the West Traffic Division throughout the day on Tuesday as the investigation continues.
The shooting was the second to occur at the police station within the last year. On June 25, an unknown suspect opened fire on two undercover detectives who arrived at the station at approximately 4:30 a.m. and were sitting in their vehicle waiting for a gate to open to the parking lot. One of the detectives sustained a graze wound to the head, while the other suffered minor injuries to his hand. No arrest has been made in that case.