Gunman who wounded sheriff's detective is killed by deputies

A gunman holed up in a Lynwood apartment wounded a sheriff's detective before being killed by deputies

A Los Angeles County sheriff's detective was shot in the shoulder Tuesday by a man who barricaded himself in a Lynwood apartment, then was killed by deputies after he emerged with a gun.

The detective, a 17-year-veteran, was in stable condition at a local hospital, said Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida. He and a partner had approached the apartment in the 12200 block of Santa Fe Avenue about 1 p.m. as part of an investigation.

After the man began shooting, the detectives returned fire, Nishida said.

During the standoff, crisis negotiators tried to make contact with the barricaded suspect. Neighbors were either evacuated or ordered to shelter in place.

For the next three hours, dozens of people stood outside watching the scene unfold. Deputies had cordoned off the area, a mix of residential and industrial buildings, for at least a block in all directions.

About two blocks away, Lindbergh Elementary went on lockdown, but parents were able to pick up their children at the normal 2:45 p.m. dismissal time, a school district spokeswoman said.

Rafael Mondragon, 16, lives on Santa Fe Avenue a few doors from the standoff. He said he was in his living room watching TV when he heard a single shot, followed not long after by the sounds of squealing tires and the thumping of a police helicopter. He went outside to see what was going on, but deputies ordered him back into his house.

When Maria Ortega returned after picking her 11-year-old son up from school, the area was swarming with news trucks and SWAT team members.

"I haven't seen anything like this in a long time," said Ortega, who has lived in the neighborhood for eight years.

At about 4:45 p.m., local resident Maria Sanchez said she heard sheriff's officials order the man to give himself up. Then came about three gunshots, she said.

Nishida would identify the suspect only as a man in his 30s. She had no details about the investigation that brought the detectives to the area.

"It's a dangerous job, and we work in a particularly dangerous area," said Jeffrey Steck, president of the deputies' union.

Steck cited several recent incidents in which deputies have been attacked, including one at the Lakewood Center mall where a suspect beat a deputy, seriously injuring him.

"It seems there's a little bit of an open season on law enforcement lately — attacks that are unprovoked," Steck said.

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