The sheriff’s department said Thursday a pellet rifle was recovered from one of the apartments searched after a rookie Lancaster sheriff’s deputy was shot in the shoulder during an ambush in the station’s parking lot.
Whether the pellet rifle was the weapon fired at 21-year-old Deputy Angel Reinosa is yet to be determined, Deputy Ed Luna of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said Thursday afternoon. No arrests have been made.
“The deputy’s uniform and the pellet gun will be sent to the sheriff’s department’s crime lab for forensics testing,” Luna said.
The deputy “sustained a non-penetrating wound to the top of his right shoulder that left a minor injury,” according to Luna, who said damage consistent with a gunshot was noted on the top right shoulder area of Reinosa’s uniform shirt.
Reinosa was in the parking lot of the station at 501 W. Lancaster Blvd. when shots were fired at 2:48 p.m. Wednesday. He was going to his personal vehicle in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, said Capt. Todd Weber of the sheriff’s Lancaster Station.
“He is doing great, has a minor wound, is in high spirits and should make a full recovery. Very lucky,” Weber said Wednesday.
Reinosa was treated at a hospital and released. He has been with the sheriff’s department for one year and was assigned to patrol training at the Lancaster station in May, Weber said.
A containment perimeter was quickly set up following the shooting. The four-story apartment building where the shots were believed to have originated was locked down, as was a nearby school. The campus was later evacuated and students were released to their parents, he said.
Dozens of SWAT deputies descended on the scene via helicopter and armored vehicles. Tactical teams checked each apartment and determined whether residents were better off sheltering in place or going to an evacuation center staffed by the American Red Cross, Weber said.
Late Wednesday night, the sheriff’s department tweeted that that active search had concluded and two adults were detained for being uncooperative during the operation. About 5:30 Thursday morning, the sheriff’s department reported the search of the apartment building and surrounding area was fully concluded.
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said the apartments “cater to the mentally ill” and he expressed concern about the location of the complex so close 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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