An investigation was underway Wednesday into the shooting of two apparently unarmed burglars who broke into the San Gabriel home of an Los Angeles Police lieutenant, leaving one of them in critical condition.
The San Gabriel Police Department says the burglary was reported in the 600 block of Los Olivos Drive around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday. Responding officers found one suspect bleeding on the driveway of the home; another had been driven to a hospital, apparently by a third member of the burglary crew.
LAPD Officer Drake Madison confirmed the homeowner was a Los Angeles police officer, a 29-year veteran of the department. His name was not immediately released.
Police said as many as four people appeared to have been involved in the burglary, with two suspects in custody and the other two hospitalized. One of them is in critical condition, sheriff’s Lt.?Eddie Hernandez told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Authorities said the homeowner was home alone and asleep when he heard noises coming from inside the house. “Fearing for his life, the homeowner armed himself,” said sheriff’s Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez. “During the burglary, the homeowner confronted two, unknown, burglary suspects inside his home. The suspects then fled through a kitchen window, which was also the initial point of entry.
“As the lieutenant stood near the window, he saw one of the suspects reach for his waistband and turn toward him. Fearing the suspect had armed himself and was going to seriously hurt or kill the homeowner, an officer- involved shooting subsequently occurred.”
But as of this morning, no weapon has been recovered.
Both suspects were struck by gunfire but tried to flee, Navarro-Suarez said. One was detained by San Gabriel police in the driveway, suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper torso.
Navarro-Suarez said the second suspect was also struck by gunfire in his upper body and was driven to a hospital by a third suspect. That suspect dropped the wounded suspect off and with a fourth suspect, fled from the hospital, but the two were later captured. All the suspects are juveniles, according to reports from the hospital.
Investigators with San Gabriel police, the LAPD and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department all responded to the scene.
The lieutenant has been placed on administrative leave, LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar told the Tribune.
Anyone with information on the incident can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Tips may be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
—City News Service
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