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LA Sheriff's Deputies Shot, 'Fighting For Their Lives' After Compton Ambush

COMPTON (CBSLA) -- Two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were shot Saturday night at the Metro Blue Line station at Willowbrook Avenue and Elm Street in Compton, authorities said.

The shooting happened just before 7 p.m. and officials were still searching for the suspect as of 11:20 p.m.

The LASD said the shooter ambushed a male and female deputy as they sat in their patrol vehicle.

A security video of the incident captured by an MTA camera was released within two hours of the shooting. According to the sheriff's department, "the gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation."

The sheriff's department said the shooter walked along the passenger side of the patrol vehicle as if he was going to pass it, but opened fire through the window instead. The suspect then fled on foot and out of view.

"To see somebody just walk up and start shooting on them. It pisses me off," said LASD Sheriff Alex Villanueva in a press conference Saturday night.

The deputies -- who work for the Transit Services Bureau and were both graduates of Class 437 and sworn into office about 14 months ago -- were able to radio for help and get rushed to the hospital for treatment. They were identified as a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man.

LASD shooting screengrab
Both deputies had multiple gunshot wounds and were in critical condition. They were transported to St. Francis Medical Center for surgery and met by family and loved ones there, according to the sheriff's department.

LASD said in a tweet that the deputies were "fighting for their lives."

Due to the investigation, train service on the Metro Blue Line was suspended.

FBI Los Angeles said shortly after the shooting that is offering resources and is ready to step in to assist local authorities. 

President Donald Trump also weighed in on the incident, re-tweeting the surveillance video and saying, "Animals that must be hit hard!"

According to the LASD, one of the deputies who was shot said that the suspect was a "dark-skinned male" but no other information was immediately available about the shooter's identity.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown said in a statement, "I am devastated to learn of the tragedy that occurred in our city tonight. Both deputies and their families will remain in our prayers. The city will be working with the sheriff's department as they search to apprehend the individual responsible for this act of violence."

Fourteen homicide investigators were canvassing the scene to get more information about the shooting, and other authorities said they are hoping to get additional surveillance video evidence as well.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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