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LA official: Recent shootings 'open season' on law enforcement

"It's a dangerous job, and we work in a particularly dangerous area"

By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Gunmen have shot at peace officers at least four times over the last eight days — a pace that has a Los Angeles County union official saying it appears to be "open season" on law enforcement.

The latest shooting broke out Tuesday night in San Pedro, when a man allegedly shot at two LAPD officers.  Though no officers were hit, it was a different case just hours earlier in Lynwood, when a sheriff's detective was shot in the shoulder.

In that incident, the detective and his partner were following up on an investigation when a man opened fire and then ran into an apartment. The man barricaded himself for hours before emerging from the apartment with a gun and was shot to death by deputies. His identity has not been released.

"It's a dangerous job, and we work in a particularly dangerous area," said Jeffrey Steck, president of the county deputies' union. "It seems there's a little bit of an open season on law enforcement lately — attacks that are unprovoked."

Among those apparently unprovoked shootings was one in San Bernardino on Friday. According to police, Officer Gabriel Garcia and his rookie partner approached a group of a half-dozen people in a residential neighborhood when one of the men in the group, identified as Alex Alvarado, 38, turned and shot Garcia multiple times with an assault weapon-type rifle. Alvarado was killed in a subsequent firefight; Garcia remains in critical condition.

Garcia was the most seriously injured in the recent spate of shootings, but an LAPD officer engaged in a gun battle Aug. 18 — the first in the recent string of incidents — was also seriously wounded.

The officer was shot during a run-and-gun battle through South L.A. with two men that ended in a neighborhood not far from USC. Andre Maurice Jones, 37, shot an LAPD officer in the leg, shattering his bone and blasting out a chunk of his calf, before he was gunned down by return fire.

The injury may be career-ending to the officer, officials said.

Three days earlier, on Aug. 15, a sheriff's deputy was severely beaten by a man while investigating a domestic violence incident at Lakewood Center mall. The man was unarmed and was taken into custody and the deputy is recovering in the hospital.

Copyright 2014 the Los Angeles Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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