Both LASD deputies shot in Compton ambush released from hospital; manhunt continues for suspect
LOS ANGELES - The female deputy who was shot in Compton on Sept. 12 has been released from a hospital, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reports. The male deputy was released from a hospital on Wednesday.
"They both have a long road to recovery and LASD appreciates your continued prayers and all the support," according to a tweet from the sheriff's department.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that the investigation was continuing in Saturday's ambush shooting of two deputies as they sat in a patrol SUV at a Compton rail station, and said efforts were being made to transfer the pair from St. Francis Medical Center to a long-term care facility.
On Wednesday, the department said the 24-year-old male deputy was released from the hospital. Villanueva says he has a long road of recovery ahead of him.
"We're trying to see if we can transfer them to a place where they can get long-term care, but we obviously have concerns about the COVID and security concerns, so that's going to be an ongoing issue that we are going to have to address," he said.
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As of Wednesday, no suspects have been identified in the attack on the deputies, although some reports circulating online implied that an armed carjacking suspect arrested Tuesday in Lynwood could be the wanted gunman.
Villanueva was asked why that suspect -- Deonte Murray, 36 -- was being held on $2 million bail, and if the suspect was related to the deputies' shooting.
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The sheriff did not directly address the latter part of the question.
"(He) was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, and carjacking," Villanueva said.
"And he actually shot the victim with an AR-15, and stole the vehicle. So that, itself, is going to necessitate the higher bail. And he is (an) extremely dangerous person, and thankfully, he was arrested without incident -- without, at least, anybody being injured ... "We continue doing a very wide-scale search and investigation on who is responsible for the ambush, and we're chasing all leads," Villanueva said.
A screen capture from the surveillance video (it may be graphic for some viewers) shows the two deputies moments after they were riddled with bullets as both deputies were waiting for help to arrive.
The image shows the female deputy standing with her uniform soaked in blood. Her patrol partner is kneeling behind a pillar. You can see his hand is also covered in blood.
The sheriff's department initially offered a $100,000 reward in the investigation.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors formally ratified a $100,000 reward offer Tuesday. Villanueva, speaking at the board meeting, said the reward had been matched and exceeded by private donors.
"I am honored & pleased to announce that a surgeon who personally knows how difficult & long the recovery will be for the two deputies, has donated $50,000 from his own funds," the sheriff tweeted Wednesday.
"This surgeon from Wyoming wants everyone to know that this horrific attack didn't just affect those in Los Angeles, but it affected everyone in the United States who care about our law enforcement officers."
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The county's Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Monday that it was adding $25,000 to the reward, noting that the deputies were working for Metro's Transit Services Bureau at the time of the shooting.
The League of United Latin American Citizens added another $25,000 to the reward money, and the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the union that represents the department's deputies, announced Tuesday night that it was donating $75,000.
Members of the county board said cities including Palmdale, Cerritos, Lakewood and Industry had also added to the reward, though the totals were not immediately available.
Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Mark Ridley-Thomas authored the reward motion.
A GoFundMe was set up for the two deputies had raised $531,428 toward the page's new goal of $750,000 as of late Wednesday morning and was started by sheriff's Detective Keegan McInnis.
The union has set up a foundation for the two deputies on its website, https://alads.org/Home/Cares.
The attack was reported around 7 p.m. Saturday at the Metro station at Willowbrook Avenue and Oak Street.
Video from the scene shows an unidentified male shooter opening fire on the passenger side of the patrol vehicle, leaving both the male and female deputy with head wounds. The gunman is then seen running away.
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The department says the suspect approached the vehicle from behind and fired several rounds.
Both deputies sustained multiple gunshot wounds. They were rushed to the hospital and immediately underwent surgery.
The L.A. County Sheriff's Department Headquarters tweeted out a video of the incident Saturday evening.
During a press conference Saturday night Sheriff Villanueva identified the deputies only as a 24-year-old male and a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy. The sheriff said he swore-in both deputies himself 14 months ago.
Villanueva said this is now a growing trend of police being targeted in the current climate.
"Two deputies were ambushed in a cowardly fashion. It pisses me off and it dismays me," Villanueva said.
The shooter was described by the sheriff's department as a "male Black, 28- to 30 years old, wearing dark clothing, who was last seen heading northbound on Willowbrook Avenue in a black four-door sedan."
The FBI tweeted out Saturday evening that they will be assisting the L.A. County Sheriff's Department with their investigation.
"FBI Los Angeles has offered resources and stands ready to assist in response to reports of an attack on @lasdhq deputies tonight."
President Donald Trump shared a tweet at 10:05 p.m. from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department of video of the ambush shooting of the two deputies and commented, "Animals that must be hit hard!"
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. You can remain anonymous by calling "Crime Stoppers" at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org
FOX 11's Bill Melugin and CNS contributed.