Shootings involving the Los Angeles Police Department declined 22% last year from 1985. Fifty-three people were shot by officers in 1986, 22 of them fatally. In 1985, 22 people were shot and killed by police; 45 were wounded. Shootings involving the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, meanwhile, dropped from 39 in 1985 to 35 in 1986. Deputies shot and killed 10 people in 1986 compared to 16 in 1985. Authorities from both departments said they could not immediately explain the reduced numbers of officer-involved shootings. "Maybe there's been less need to shoot," speculated Police Lt. Dan Cooke. "Maybe the word's gotten out to the criminal element not to mess with us." Since 1980, there have been 383 people killed or wounded by Los Angeles police gunfire, according to department records.