A 21-year-old sheriff’s deputy was struck by gunfire Wednesday when he and other deputies were ambushed outside the Lancaster sheriff’s station, prompting a lockdown of the station and a massive search for the shooter.
The shots rang out at 2:48 p.m. at the sheriff’s station at 501 W. Lancaster Blvd., according to Deputy Morgan Arteaga of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Deputy Angel Reinosa was going to his personal vehicle in the employee parking lot when the shots were fired and he suffered a minor wound to his right shoulder, Capt. Todd Weber of the sheriff’s Lancaster Station said.
“Deputies at the location evacuated him,” Weber said. “He is doing great, has a minor wound, is in high spirits and should make a full recovery. Very lucky.”
Reinosa was treated at the hospital and released to his family, the captain said. He has been a deputy about one year and assigned to Lancaster since May.
According to reports from the scene, Reinosa was able to walk inside the station and was in stable condition when taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Other deputies were fired on, as well, but were not wounded, Deputy Morgan Arteaga of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
A containment perimeter was quickly set up, Weber said. The four-story apartment building where the shots were believed to have originated was locked down as ways a nearby school. The school was later evacuated and students were reunited with parents, he said.
Dozens of SWAT deputies descended on the scene via helicopter and armored vehicles. Tactical teams were checking each apartment and determining whether residents were better off sheltering in place or going to an evacuation center with American Red Cross support, Weber said.
“A potential apartment may have been identified,” Weber said.
The number of shots fired and other crime scene details would be determined after the situation is secure, Weber said. The scene where Reinosa was wounded was still in the line of fire, Weber said.
“This is a large crime scene and it will be a lengthy investigation,” Weber said.
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said the apartments “cater to the mentally ill,” and he was concerned the complex should not be next to the sheriff’s station.
“Of course it’s insanity,” Parris said. “It’s outrageous to have that population in that location. Thank God we don’t have a funeral.”
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