The shooting happened around midnight outside of the Rodeway Inn in the 3900 block of West Century Boulevard.
The driver of a Mercedes told Eyewitness News a male acquaintance gave her $20 in gas money to drive him to meet a friend at the Rodeway Inn. Deputies stopped the car in the motel parking lot for having paper plates. Guests heard what happened next.
"There was some tussling, a little bit of arguing going on, I heard the man say that he had a gun, he shot twice, and police shot back at him," said motel guest Jasmine Blount.
Detectives say a male passenger got out of the car and walked toward the trunk. A female deputy stopped and frisked him, and felt a gun in his waistband. Her partner stepped in for back-up.
"The male deputy, for lack of a better term, bear-hugged the suspect, pinning his arms to his side," said Lt. Mike Rosson.
The suspect was still able to grab the gun and fired at the female deputy, but the bullet was deflected by the cord of her cellphone charger on her utility belt.
The impact of the gunshot caused only bruising. The male deputy was shot in the hand. Deputies returned fire, killing the suspect.
Investigators say the deputy is very lucky her cellphone cable blocked the shot.
"I've heard of deputies' badges stopping rounds, I've heard of a lot of things stopping rounds, but something that small is nothing short of a miracle," Rosson said.
The two deputies are based out of the South L.A. station and have been with the department for less than three years.
The driver of the Mercedes and another man were detained and released after nearly nine hours.