LAPD officer wounded, suspect killed in Watts gunfight

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One officer was injured and a suspect was killed during a shootout in Watts, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. (KABC)

An investigation is underway into a shootout in Watts that left a man dead and a Los Angeles police officer injured with a gunshot wound.

The incident happened around 11 p.m. near 11th and Antwerp streets. Authorities said officers were doing extra patrol around the Nickerson Gardens housing complex when they tried to disperse a group of people.

Officials said one man in the group fled on foot, and two officers began chasing him. During the foot chase, police said the suspect produced a handgun. Both the suspect and police fired their weapons.

The suspect was killed and later identified by the Los Angeles County Coroner as 18-year-old Richard Risher of Apple Valley. Investigators said Risher's weapon was recovered from the scene.

One of the officers was wounded and transported to Long Beach Memorial Hospital in stable condition and has since been released.

Police said multiple people have been detained with possible connections to the incident.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck stopped by the Eyewitness News studio Tuesday and said he visited the officer at the hospital before he was released earlier in the morning.

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LAPD Chief Charlie Beck visited the Eyewitness News station to speak about the overnight shooting in Watts as well as the department's Stop the Violence campaign.

"It's a significant wound. I'm sure it hurts considerably, but at least it's not life threatening and it didn't do significant muscle damage," Beck said.

According to Beck, there was a shooting on July 15 between a gang that claims Nickerson Gardens and another gang that claims an adjoining housing development. Beck said this incident has led to three homicides and a total of 11 shootings as the gangs retaliated back and forth.

Since then, LAPD gang officers have been patrolling the area to try and quell the violence. It was during one of these patrols Monday night when officers made contact with a group of gang members and tried to disperse them, Beck said.

Beck said Risher fired multiple rounds at the officers during the foot chase before he was shot dead by police.

"Any loss of life is tragic, and we feel for the family and friends and all that," Beck said. "The violence has got to stop. This is not a way to resolve disputes."

Beck said the LAPD's "Stop the Violence" campaign aims to spread this message to young people. To do this, the department has enlisted the help of rappers Snoop Dogg and The Game as well as athletes, including the U.S. Olympic basketball team.

"America is too violent of a place, and we can't expect much different from our police unless we reduce the overall violence," Beck said.

Watts residents echoed this call for less violence following Monday's shooting, saying enough is enough.

"Their lives matter. All lives matter. It's not that we are against anyone, but we're just tired of being laid out in the street. Black, brown, red, white, whatever color, we're just tired of all this violence that seems to continue to rise up," said area resident Angie Butler.
Related Topics:
police officer shotpolice shootingshootingofficer-involved shootinglapdgang activitygang violencegun violenceWattsLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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