Deputy OK after deadly Lawndale shootout

LAWNDALE, Calif. The suspect was killed. He was identified as 29-year-old Juan Carlos Aguilar. Deputies say it was Aguilar's mother who called to report that he had a gun and was acting irrationally.

Police said deputies were responding to a call at 166th Street and Prairie Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. When they arrived, they confronted a suspect, and shots were fired.

"The call was a person armed with a gun, who was acting irrational and maybe under the influence of drugs," said Sgt. David Infante, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "The initial call when deputies were dispatched was at 10:18. The deputy-involved shooting occurred at 10:28."

Details on what led to the shooting have not been released, but a deputy was hit in the shoulder. He was treated at Harbor UCLA Medical Center and released early Wednesday morning. The bullet passed through his shoulder.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was the suspect's own family that called deputies warning that he was armed and dangerous. In fact, they say they called much earlier in the evening, and that the shooting could have been avoided.

"The guy was just, you know, obviously on drugs and the parole officer came twice -- he violated his parole," said John Fox, the suspect's cousin. "They should have taken him into custody. They didn't and this is what happened."

While family members think about how different things could have been, witnesses are still coming to grips with how close they came to danger. They say they heard dozens of shots as they ducked for cover just a few feet away from the action.

"We heard bang, bang, bang, and the cops were all here and they were yelling at us to get down and they're all behind their vehicles," said Christina Clements, a witness to the shooting.

"You think you know what a gunshot sounds like but you really don't. It sounds like fireworks, it really does," she added.

Authorities have not identified the suspect or the wounded deputy.

Roads in the area were closed during the investigation. The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is handling the investigation, assisted by other police agencies.

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