LOS ANGELES - A man walked into a Los Angeles police station Monday night, spoke briefly to officers, then opened fire on them, hitting one officer seven times before the officer and a colleague were able to return fire and wound the man.
Chief Charlie Beck told reporters late Monday night the officer was in good spirits. Authorities said his bulletproof vest took most of the gunfire, but one round struck him in the shoulder. He was hospitalized in good condition.
"He is in great spirits, a remarkable young man, very, very lucky," Beck said. "To be shot seven times and to be talking to me and texting his friends on his mobile device ... is just amazing."
The officer's name was not immediately released.
Authorities said the shootout began about 8 p.m. after the gunman entered the Los Angeles Police Department's West Traffic Division station and approached two officers who were working at the front desk. CBS Los Angeles reports the man said he had a complaint.
"He engaged in a conversation and then drew a semi-automatic pistol and began shooting," Beck said, adding that the officer still managed to draw his weapon and hit the gunman several times.
"After being hit seven times, he returned fire and saved his own life and the life of his partner," Beck said outside the police station.
Beck said the officer's female colleague also returned fire, says CBS Los Angeles.
"Just by the grace of God, we didn't lose another one. To be shot seven times at close range by a semiautomatic pistol and be talking to me," Beck said.
Officer Sara Faden said the gunman was hit "multiple times."
The suspect was in critical condition and undergoing surgery, says CBS Los Angeles.
Police shut down a busy street near the station immediately after the shooting, clearing a path for ambulances.
It remained closed well into the night as police investigated, at one point calling in a bomb squad to check out the gunman's car, which was parked nearby.
Faden said it would be towed once the bomb squad ruled it was safe to do so.
Police said they knew of no motive for the shooting, which occurred in the lobby of the station about 7 miles west of downtown.
Several people were gathered in another part of the building for a community meeting when the shots rang out.
"Fortunately none of the attendees were struck or injured in any way," Faden said.