LAPD officer, homicide suspect wounded in shootout after chase ends in Hawthorne

ByJohn Gregory and staff KABC logo
Friday, June 30, 2017
LAPD officer, homicide suspect wounded in Hawthorne shootout
A Los Angeles Police Department officer and a homicide suspect were wounded Thursday morning in a shootout that occurred at the end of a chase in Hawthorne.

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (KABC) -- A Los Angeles Police Department officer and a homicide suspect were wounded Thursday morning in a shootout that occurred at the end of a chase in Hawthorne, authorities said.

The incident took place about 10 a.m. after a multi-agency task force conducted a stakeout in the area of Aviation and El Segundo boulevards, said Officer Tony Im, an LAPD spokesman. The investigation stemmed from a gang-related murder that occurred March 31 in southwest Los Angeles.

Detectives were serving warrants against the four individuals wanted in the homicide when they became aware of one of the suspects driving a vehicle in the area, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told reporters at the scene. The pursuit began when the suspect allegedly fled from authorities.

At one point the suspect exited his vehicle armed with a handgun, according to Beck.

"A gunfight ensued between the individual and the pursuing officers, resulting in one of our SWAT officers being shot in the hip," Beck said, adding that the suspect was shot multiple times.

Authorities said it appeared the suspect was streaming the entire shootout on his private Facebook account. They will be reviewing it as part of the investigation.

Witness Cory Seubert was driving by when he took out his cellphone and started recording the entire scene.

"As I sat there recording, I heard the first few gunshots. Then the light turned green and as we drove off we heard a few more gunshots and I just wanted to get out of the area. We just drove up north on Aviation to get away," he said.

According to the L.A. County Fire Department, firefighter-paramedics responded to a report of a gunshot victim and an officer down at the scene. Both the suspect and the officer involved in the shooting were transported to a hospital, where an ambulance arrived with an escort from several police vehicles.

WATCH: Wounded officer taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

The police officer wounded in a shootout at the end of a chase in Hawthorne was transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center on Thursday.

Beck said he had come to the press conference from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he visited with the wounded policeman.

"He is in stable condition. He is joined by his wife, who is also a Los Angeles police officer," Beck said. "We anticipate a full recovery on his part."

The suspect was in serious condition, according to the LAPD. He was expected to be booked for murder in connection with the March 31 killing, as well as for attempted murder in Thursday's shooting.

A source told ABC7 that the injured officer has been on the force for more than 20 years; his name was not immediately released.

Beck said Hawthorne officers got involved when the chase entered their area, but it was unclear if those officers were also involved in the gun battle.

The investigation was ongoing.