Two sheriff’s deputies from the Lakewood Station remain hospitalized Saturday with wounds suffered in a shooting in Bellflower, and the gunman who allegedly wounded them remains jailed on $10 million bail.
One deputy is recovering from his surgery and is improving, although his condition remains serious. The second deputy continues to improve as well and remains in stable condition, the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said Saturday.
The suspect, identified as 39-year-old Juan Martinez with no known address, was taken into custody by a SWAT team that fired tear gas into a small structure in which he was hiding behind a house in the 9000 block of Mayne Street in Bellflower, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said.
The suspect had initially entered the home and held a man hostage, according to authorities. That hostage was able to escape unharmed.
Martinez was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer and kidnapping of a civilian, according Deputy Grace Medrano.
According to the sheriff’s department, deputies were conducting a DUI checkpoint on Lakewood Boulevard around 10:50 p.m. Thursday when a motorcycle deputy pulled over the suspect in the 16600 block of Lisa Avenue. The suspect got out of his vehicle with a firearm and “fired several rounds at the deputy, striking him multiple times,” according to sheriff’s officials. The deputy fired back at the suspect, who fled the scene on foot.
As a second set of deputies responded to the shots fired, the suspect shot at them, hitting one, sheriff’s deputies said. A third group of deputies began pursuing the suspect, who allegedly fired shots at them before running out of view.
The suspect was not wounded in the exchange, Medrano said.
The injured deputies, both males, were taken by other deputies to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, officials said.
The search for the suspect was conducted in the general area of Lakewood Boulevard between Alondra Boulevard and Flower Street, north of the Artesia (91) Freeway.
A SWAT unit was sent to the scene, joining more than 40 patrol cars that were sent to assist with the search.
—City News Service