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Investigator Hurt in Drug Sale Case; 8 Suspects Held

November 14, 1987|TERRY SPENCER | Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sergeant was shot in the back Friday while investigating suspected drug sales at a Compton home.

Eight people barricaded inside the home at 825 West 156th St. surrendered to authorities after a standoff with a special weapons team. The unit surrounded the home after the narcotics investigator was shot, authorities said.

Deputy Bill Wehner said $3,000 in cash, a MAC-10 machine pistol and 25 gallons of a substance believed to be PCP were found at the house and in a car parked in the driveway. The drugs would have a street value of about $1.5 million, Wehner said.

Sgt. Larry Crookshanks, 39, a 17-year veteran of the force, was taken to Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in Los Angeles for surgery to remove a bullet lodged in his left shoulder. He was reported in good condition.

The eight suspects have been charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale. None of their names has been released.

Sheriff's Department spokesmen said a surveillance of the house by Crookshanks and other officers from the Lynwood Station's narcotics team began about 9 a.m. after the department received a tip that drug activity was occurring there.

At 11 a.m., according to the spokesmen, Crookshanks and the other officers got out of their cars. As Crookshanks walked up the east side of the house, he was struck by a bullet fired from inside.

Spokesmen said it was unclear why the officers had abandoned their surveillance and approached the house.

Deputies returned fire and moved Crookshanks to a neighbor's lawn before pulling back. A SWAT team was called in and the eight suspects surrendered without further gunfire about 12:30 p.m.

Animal control officials were called in to take custody of three pit bull dogs that attacked deputies.

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