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Police officers unharmed in ambush shooting in Los Angeles

Los Angeles police officers have been working in pairs because of the nationwide tension, Police Capt. Lillian Carranza said after an "ambush."

By
Frances Burns
Los Angeles police officers were on duty Dec. 13 as hundreds of people marched to protest police brutality. Two officers escaped unharmed Sunday night when someone fired at their patrol car. UPI/Jim Ruymen..
Los Angeles police officers were on duty Dec. 13 as hundreds of people marched to protest police brutality. Two officers escaped unharmed Sunday night when someone fired at their patrol car. UPI/Jim Ruymen.. | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Two Los Angeles police officers escaped unharmed from an "ambush" in which shots were fired at their patrol car.

One man identified as a person of interest was detained soon after the incident Sunday night, police said. An intense search for a second man was called off at about 6 a.m. Monday.

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Police Capt. Lillian Carranza called the shooting "completely unprovoked." She said several shots were fired at the police car but neither of the occupants was hit.

The shooting came eight days after two New York officers were killed by a man who fired into their patrol car in Brooklyn and after months of protests around the country over the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Eric Garner in New York's Staten Island borough and other deaths of black men and boys at the hands of police officers.

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The two Los Angeles officers were responding to a call in South Los Angeles when they became a target, Deputy Chief Bob Green said. The officers said a man on the sidewalk stepped into the street and opened fire.

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"It was an ambush," Green said. "They were fired upon without any prior contact with the suspects."

A rifle was found at the scene.

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Police declared a tactical alert for the entire city. Dogs were used to search the immediate neighborhood, and residents were warned to stay inside.

"Armed suspect in the area," the local police station advised on Facebook. "Please keep our officers in your thoughts and prayers!"

The tactical alert was lifted at 6 a.m., but police said the block of Hoover Street where the shooting occurred might remain closed for several more hours.

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Carranza said that because of the tension Los Angeles officers have been in "heightened awareness mode." She said officers have been traveling in pairs.

"The officers know to be aware of the environment and what is taking place nationwide," she said.

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