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2 Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shot; suspect dead

September 20, 2018

This still image taken from video provided by CBS2/KCAL9 shows the scene of gunfight at an East Los Angeles park that has wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies and left a suspect dead, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Sheriff Jim McDonnell says the deputies, both veterans of the department in their early 30s, are in serious but stable condition Wednesday night and their wounds are non-life threatening. (CBS2/KCAL9 via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were shot and wounded and a suspect was killed Wednesday night following a gunfight at an East Los Angeles park.

The deputies, whose names weren’t immediately released, were hospitalized in serious but stable condition and their wounds were non-life threatening, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said after speaking with them.

“This could have ended up very differently tonight,” the sheriff said at a news conference. “We’re very thankful.”

He described the wounded deputies, both in their early 30s, as seasoned veterans who each had more than 10 years with the department. He didn’t release any other details about their wounds.

The incident began shortly after 6:15 p.m. when authorities received a call that someone in a car had pointed a gun at passersby several blocks from Salazar Park, sheriff’s Capt. Darren Harris said.

Deputies spotted a black sedan matching a description and a short chase began that ended with the car driving into the park, sheriff’s officials and witnesses said. The car pulled up halfway on a walkway and halfway on some grass near a fenced cul-de-sac.

Harris said it appeared people jumped out of the car.

McDonnell said as the deputies approached, “the suspects open fire on them.”

The deputies were each struck once in the upper body, he said.

The wounded deputies or their colleagues fired back, he said.

Fernando Mercado said he was sitting in his living room when he saw a black car drive by, followed by three patrol cars.

“The black car jumped the curb at the park and that’s when I heard shots fired,” he told KCAL-TV. “I came outside, watched as a couple officers pulled out their guns and they were just shooting away. I’d say it was possibly more than 15 shots.”

One suspect was shot and died at the scene, a second man was wounded and taken to a hospital in unknown condition and a third was taken into custody. Their names were not immediately released.

Authorities sealed off the neighborhood around the park and began a search for a possible fourth suspect but determined late Wednesday night that there were only three.

Update hourly