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LAUSD cop charged in alleged shooting hoax

March 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Felony charges were filed Thursday against a Los Angeles Unified School District police officer accused of faking his own shooting while on patrol.

The incident happened Jan. 19 near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills.

Jeffrey Stenroos, 30, said he was shot by a burglary suspect, prompting a widespread school lockdown. More than 550 law enforcement officers throughout Southern California responded and conducted a 10-hour search, shutting down an eight-square-mile area.

He later admitted to making it all up.

Prosecutors said he is charged with perjury, filing a false insurance claim, preparing a false police report and preparing false evidence.

Stenroos is also charged with a misdemeanor of falsely reporting an emergency.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck issued a statement saying, "The actions of Officer Stenroos put into motion a series of events that wasted valuable Department resources, negatively impacted thousands of school children and their families, and disrupted the lives of a countless number of people who were inconvenienced by the perimeter set up to catch a suspect who never existed. Officer Stenroos deserves no leniency."

LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines also expressed outrage.

"I hope he gets the book thrown at him," Cortines said. "I feel betrayed. I was out there the whole time. I went to visit him in the hospital."

Arraignment is scheduled for March 23.