By Robert Jablon
LOS ANGELES — A daylong siege that began with a domestic violence call ended when a man suspected of shooting and critically wounding a police officer was found dead in his home.
Officers found the man's body in a second-floor hallway at about 7:30 p.m. Monday with a rifle nearby, nearly 18 hours after Officer Steven Jenkins was shot and the man barricaded himself inside, Deputy Los Angeles Police Chief Kirk Albanese said.
Jenkins, a police dog handler and 22-year LAPD veteran, remained hospitalized in critical condition with gunshot wounds to his jaw and collarbone.
Earlier Monday, officers blasted tear gas into a window of the home in a gated Sylmar community and traded gunfire with the man.
Police used a forklift-like machine with an extendable arm to rip open the structure to make the gunman easier to spot.
"He fired at officers several times during a 45-minute period," Lt. Andy Neiman said. "He obviously couldn't care less about the lives of others."
Officers returned fire at one point, but it was unclear whether they hit the gunman, Neiman said.
The man had been seen moving throughout the house and used several weapons, but officers lost sight of him.
For hours, officers tried to persuade the gunman to give up peacefully.
"We took extra time and explained to him ... that the officer was alive, that there's no reason to make this worse than it already is and to surrender," Albanese said. "That was not to be."
Over the next few days, police plan to interview family members and neighbors to learn more about the suspect, who has not been identified.
"What prompted this? What caused this man to do the things that he did today? We don't know, and hopefully we can learn more in the days to come ... and really start to put together what we were faced with here tonight," Albanese said.
The ordeal began when the man's wife called police Sunday night saying her husband had beaten her, police said.
She was badly battered, police Chief Charlie Beck said. Neiman said she was treated at the scene for scrapes and bruises to her face and neck.
Because someone was reported injured, firefighters responded and saw the man driving up and down the street, apparently looking for his wife, Neiman said.
The man had locked himself in the home by the time police arrived. Neighbors were evacuated as SWAT officers surrounded the home.
Jenkins was shot at around 2 a.m. Monday.
Though the suspect had a criminal record, it was relatively old, according to Albanese.
No other officers were hurt.
Jenkins' wife is an LAPD sergeant and his son is also on the force.
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