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Federal officer who fired shot during pro-Israel rally on paid leave

The federal officer who fired his gun during a pro-Israel rally in Westwood that ended in violence is on paid leave.
The federal officer who fired his gun during a pro-Israel rally in Westwood that ended in violence is on paid leave and was cooperating with investigators on Monday.

The name of the federal officer has not been released.

On Sunday, about 1,800 people gathered outside the federal building at Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue, including some pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

One of the pro-Israel protestors grabbed a Palestinian flag from a truck and stepped on it, sheriff's deputies said.

The four men in the truck then confronted the demonstrators and struck multiple people with their flag poles, deputies said.

Hany Rafai said he was one of the men in the truck and got out when the flag was taken from his friend's hands.

"I jumped from the car and I took the flag back from the ground. I wasn't able to stand up again, because they were beating me up," Rafai said.

Rafai said he took the flag and ran to the other side of the street.

That's when, according to the Federal Protection Service, an officer who was providing security for the federal building fired a shot from his service weapon.

"I heard a loud pop. I heard an officer yell, 'Shots fired,'" said Kevin Gobuty, a pro-Israel demonstrator who witnessed the events.

According to a Federal Protection Service Statement, "At approximately 5:20 p.m., FPS requested an ambulance for a female who was injured after allegedly being assaulted by four males. An FPS law enforcement officer on-site attempted to stop the four male suspects who were attempting to flee the scene in a vehicle, and discharged one round from his service weapon."

Police later caught up with the truck, and the four men were arrested and booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

All of them posted bail Monday.

Related Topics:
news israel palestine protest Westwood
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