Azusa, CA – An Azusa police officer was shot while responding to a report of a stolen vehicle on Wednesday afternoon.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Lieutenant Vincent Ursini said two veteran Azusa Police Department (APD) officers responded to the area of Gladstone Street and Jackson Avenue shortly before 4 p.m. on Feb. 16 while investigating a report of a stolen vehicle, KABC reported.
The officers spotted a car that matched the description of the vehicle they were trying to locate, so they began approaching it, according to KCBS.
But as they got closer, a male suspect standing nearby took off running on foot, leading to a physical altercation with the pursuing officers, police said.
During the brawl, the suspect pulled out a gun and shot one of the officers, resulting in a “close-range shootout,” Lt. Ursini told KABC.
The wounded officer returned fire, fatally wounding his attacker.
“I heard like a good almost eight shots if not more just really loud and obviously we’re really close to it so it’s just nerve-racking, that it’s right there — live shots,” witness Emanuel Flores told KCBS.
The suspect died at the scene.
A female suspect who was inside the stolen vehicle at the time of the incident was taken into custody, KABC reported.
The wounded officer was rushed to the Pomona Valley Hospital trauma center, where he underwent surgery, Lt. Ursini said.
He had been shot in his lower torso, according to KTLA.
The veteran officer was listed in stable condition early Thursday morning and is expected to survive, KABC reported.
APD Captain Robert Landeros said this type of attack on an officer is “very rare” for both his department and the region.
“I’ve not seen it in my city during the course of my career,” Capt. Landeros added.
The LASD Homicide Bureau is handling the ongoing investigation into the officer-involved shooting.