The shooting happened about 6:30 a.m. near Foothill Boulevard and Astoria Street.
An officer spotted a suspicious male about 16 to 25 years old hiding behind a parked car.
As the officer drove by, the suspect yelled a derogatory slur, pulled out a gun and fired a round, officials said.
Authorities said the suspect ran into an apartment complex where they believed he was holed up.
The Los Angeles Police Department searched the area for nearly eight hours, but was not found inside the perimeter set up.
Authorities said it appears to be a random incident.
"This is broad day light," said Cpt. William Scott of the LAPD. "It's frustrating enough to know that somebody was shooting at anybody, but when you shoot at a police officer, an officer who's out there to protect the public, it's a crime against society."
Investigators continued looking for leads after the manhunt.
"It's a very frustrating situation that we could not catch this individual," Scott said.