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Two LA County deputies critically wounded in 'ambush'

By
Allen Cone

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Two Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office deputies were critically wounded when they were "ambushed" while on patrol in Compton, the agency said.

The incident at 7 p.m. Saturday was captured on video released by the department, showing an assailant running from the scene. The search continued Sunday for the gunman who shot at the deputies.

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President Donald Trump posted the video on his Twitter feed and wrote Saturday: "Animals that must be hit hard!" Then on Sunday tweeted: "If they die, fast trial death penalty for the killer. Only way to stop this!"

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"A gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation," the department posted on Twitter.

The unidentified deputies, who were sworn into office 14 months ago, underwent surgery. During a news conference, Sheriff Alex Villanueva described one of the injured deputies as a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy and the other as a 24-year-old man. Both deputies were listed in stable condition Sunday.

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One of the deputies was shot in the face and the other in the head, a source told the Los Angeles Times.

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Both deputies were members of the sheriff's transportation detail, which includes 93 rail stations and nearly 14,000 bus stops.

"The two deputies were ambushed by a gunman in a cowardly fashion," Villanueva said at a news conference. "This is a dangerous job."

On Thursday night, sheriff's detectives shot and killed a man in Compton who they said opened fire on them as they served a search warrant.

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"Every week across the nation someone is losing their life in the line of duty," he said. "This is just another grim reminder of that."

The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

After the incident, a reporter for LAist was arrested by deputies at St. Francis Medical Center, where the wounded deputies were being treated and some protesters gathered. Josie Huang was pinned by several deputies.

"The female adult, who was later identified as a member of the press, did not identify herself as press and later admitted she did not have proper press credentials on her person," the sheriff's department posted on Twitter.

Deputies issued a dispersal order for the "unlawful assembly of a group of protesters blocking the hospital emergency entrance & exits, a male adult protester refused to comply & cooperate."

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The protester was arrested.

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