A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was shot in the face Tuesday night in East Los Angeles after he and his training officer were attacked by a reputed gang member on parole, authorities said.
The gunman was fatally shot by the training officer after an apparent struggle, authorities said.
Deputy Mohamed Ahmed, 27, was taken to a local hospital and may lose sight in one eye, said a source familiar with the incident. He did not appear to have suffered any brain damage and was listed in critical condition late Tuesday.
"I'm grateful that the wound does not appear to be life-threatening," Sheriff Lee Baca told The Times on his way to the hospital.
The incident occurred while the two deputies were on routine patrol near Floral Drive and North Brannick Avenue. They saw a woman and a man inside a vehicle parked in a red zone.
The training officer recognized the parolee as they pulled up to the scene. The neighborhood of single-story homes has seen repeated gang violence over the years.
As the deputies exited their cruiser, the man got out of the vehicle and allegedly fired at the deputies, according to the source, who asked not to be named because the preliminary investigation of the incident had just been launched.
The training officer tried to wrestle the gun away from the suspect, apparently deflecting the weapon as it was pointed at his chest, the source said. The officer fired at least two shots, fatally wounding the suspect.
Late Tuesday, investigators and deputies swarmed the shooting scene. The area was blocked with yellow crime tape as detectives scoured the area for evidence. A sheriff's official described the alleged gunman as a known gang member in the neighborhood who had served time in state prison. It was unclear why he had been incarcerated.
Ahmed was hired by the Sheriff's Department in April 2007.