Suspect who shot, injured CHP officer in LA is a veteran who suffers from PTSD, family says

STUDIO CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The family of a military veteran accused of shooting and injuring a California Highway Patrol officer in Studio City is apologizing, saying his mental health has been in decline since he returned from war.

Investigators say 33-year-old Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi, also known as PJ, shot a 27-year-old officer multiple times during a traffic stop Monday night. As of Tuesday night, that officer remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Khosroabadi's family said he is a former Marine who went to Afghanistan more than a decade ago and never fully came home.

"When he came back he was so traumatized that he didn't want to speak to anyone," his sister, Shamaya Shayesteh, told Eyewitness News.

She added that her brother suffers from PTSD.

"He's lost so many of his brothers that fought with him and he's the last one standing," she said.

Khosroabadi was arrested Tuesday morning after a 12-hour manhunt in the San Fernando Valley. He had spent the night in a homeless man's tent in Van Nuys.

EMBED More News Videos

A man accused of shooting and critically injuring a California Highway Patrol officer during a traffic stop in Studio City has been taken into custody, authorities said.

Deric Lewis told Eyewitness News Khosroabadi walked into his tent Monday night armed, hiding from law enforcement after the shooting.

Lewis claims Khosroabadi admitted to shooting the CHP officer.

"He says he's a Marine and he didn't want to go to jail, and he had some troop members who committed suicide. He was on edge all night, and he had a gun," Lewis said. "We just gave him cigarettes and talked to him. He said that he shot that officer, he told us, and he had blood all over clothes.

"He kept saying 'I'm dead, I'm dead, I'm dead.' He kept saying that, but I'm sure he probably is experiencing some kind of PTSD," said Lewis. "He said he was in one of the bloodiest battles in Afghanistan, but he also said he had two platoon members this week to commit suicide."

Khosroabadi's family said they've been trying to get him help for years but he refused. He sought help from the VA recently but couldn't get an appointment until January.

"It hurt us a lot to see that because we do have family in law enforcement, so if we ever got that call, we would be really sad as well and we're so sorry," Shayesteh said.

His brother, Robert Thompson Khosroabadi , extended prayers and sympathies to the injured officer and his family.

"We would like for PJ's mental health to be addressed," he said. "I don't think he deserves prison, he deserves a hospital."

Khosroabadi's family said two men that he served with took their own life this week and they think that led to Monday night's incident.

In the U.S., 22 veterans a day are lost to suicide and his family worries he might become one of those statistics as well. Still, Koshrobadi still faces a potential charge of attempted murder.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.