Long Beach police shoot L.A. officer

The wounded man, accused of brandishing a weapon, is the son of an LAPD lieutenant.

July 31, 2008|Joel Rubin and Molly Hennessy-Fiske | Times Staff Writers

A Long Beach police officer on Wednesday shot and wounded an off-duty Los Angeles police officer who allegedly brandished a shotgun and ignored officers' orders to drop the weapon.

Jason Geggie, 26, an LAPD officer for 1 1/2 years and the son of an LAPD lieutenant, was shot in the arm and torso after he tried to flee Long Beach officers and then refused to surrender, Long Beach police officials said.

The shootings of officers by officers can be delicate matters for the agencies involved, and this one is especially so because of Geggie's father, who is said to have close relationships with members of the LAPD's senior command staff. Word of the shooting spread quickly through the LAPD's upper ranks, and several senior department officials went to the scene of the shooting.

"It is a very unfortunate set of circumstances. It is one of ours," said one high-ranking LAPD official who requested anonymity, citing the Long Beach department's investigation. "We are desperately trying to unravel what happened."

Los Angeles Police Commissioner Alan Skobin called the shooting a tragedy "for everybody involved."

Few details were released Wednesday as both Long Beach and Los Angeles police started investigations. As Long Beach detectives continued their probe -- which included obtaining a search warrant for Geggie's home -- investigators from the LAPD's internal affairs group launched a personnel inquiry into Geggie. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office also dispatched staff to conduct an independent investigation, which is common in cases involving police shootings.

Long Beach police said they responded about 12:30 a.m. to a 911 call reporting a man brandishing a firearm and walking in the street near Termino Avenue and 4th Street, close to the city's tony Belmont Heights area.

Officers found Geggie, who matched the description provided by the caller, in the 200 block of Mira Mar Avenue and confronted him, said Long Beach police spokeswoman Sgt. Dina Zapalski. Geggie tried to flee, Zapalski said, but the officers quickly caught up to him and ordered him to drop the shotgun he was holding.

"He refused and that is when the officer-involved shooting occurred," she said.

Geggie was taken to a local hospital, where he remained in stable condition Wednesday evening with "non-life threatening injuries," Zapalski said. The officer, a Long Beach resident, has been charged with "exhibiting a firearm in the presence of a police officer in a threatening manner" and threatening a civilian with a firearm. The shotgun was recovered at the scene, according to Long Beach police.

Geggie's father, who works in the LAPD's risk assessment department, and other immediate relatives could not be reached for comment. A person close to Geggie spoke on the condition that his name not be used because Geggie's family asked that no comments be made; he said he knew of no major personal or professional problems Geggie was facing that could have left him distressed. "He is just one of the most easygoing people I know," he said.

Geggie was recently assigned to the LAPD's Central Traffic Division.


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