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LAPD officer's gunshot-wound operation successful

August 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An LAPD officer wounded in a Thursday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles underwent successful surgery Friday.

In a news conference Friday morning, Dr. Gudata Hinika, the chief of trauma at California Hospital Medical Center, said the surgery was very successful and the officer was alert, awake and in good spirits. He has already asked when he can go back on duty.

Authorities say the officer's protective vest likely saved his life.

Another officer with him during the shooting was not injured.

The shooting happened the corner of Western Avenue and 66th Street at about 2:45 p.m. when two LAPD officers pulled over to question two men about area burglaries. One suspect was on foot and the other was on a bicycle.

The officers had just gotten out of their patrol car when one of the men fired at them. Three bullets hit one of the officers, a 7-year-veteran with the LAPD, on the wrist, hand and chest. As many as a dozen shots were fired at the officer and his partner. The car was also struck.

Hinika said the wounded officer should have full hand recovery after extended outpatient therapy with a specialist. The officer, who was not identified, may be discharged as early as Saturday.

Though each rehabilitation case is unique, Hinika said the average healing time is about six months.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday's incident marks the third time in seven days that LAPD officers have been fired upon.

The hunt for the suspects Thursday resulted in a widespread door-to-door search of a 72-block area and a neighborhood lockdown that ended at about 10 p.m.

Police said one person of interest was taken into custody for questioning.

At the Friday news conference, Beck said police are still looking for at least one additional suspect. Beck emphasized that there is still much to be done to get questions answered in this case including forensic exams, DNA analysis and interrogations.

Friday morning, an officer-involved-shooting team composed of Robbery-Homicide Division detectives continued to investigate the shooting.

The suspects involved in the shooting were described as two black men approximately 18 to 25 years old. One was seen wearing a white shirt and black pants; the other was described as wearing a white shirt with long blue sleeves and dark pants.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting should contact the LAPD at (877) LAPD-24-7.

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