MICHAEL BALSAMO, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) 03/21 — A man wanted for a sex crime opened fire on Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies outside their station after they tried to arrest him, unleashing a brief gunfight that ended with the shooter likely taking his own life, authorities said.
No one else was injured when the 47-year-old man, armed with a shotgun and a handgun, shot at deputies in the parking lot of the station in Temple City, about 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
The man had gone inside and said he wanted to register as a sex offender, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said. A deputy learned he had a felony warrant for his arrest in a sex crime and called for additional deputies to take him into custody, sheriff’s officials said in a statement later Monday.
After the suspect learned about the warrant, he ran out of the station to his SUV that was parked outside, hopped into the rear seat of the vehicle, grabbed shotgun and began opening fire as deputies chased him, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.
Video from news helicopters showed more than a dozen deputies taking cover behind several patrol cars with their guns pointed at the SUV.
After a gunbattle that lasted several minutes, the sheriff’s SWAT team arrived and surrounded the vehicle. After throwing a stun grenade, about a half-dozen deputies took cover behind a ballistic shield and slowly approached the SUV to find the suspect dead inside the car, authorities said.
Though deputies fired several rounds, investigators believe the man took his own life, sheriff’s Capt. Steve Katz said.
Investigators recovered both a shotgun and a handgun from the vehicle. The sheriff’s department did not provide any additional details about the warrant or the gunman.
McDonnell said the “assault on deputies” underscores the dangers law enforcement officers face on a daily basis.
“We’re very, very fortunate no deputies were injured,” the sheriff said.
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