A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy cordons off an area at Durfee… (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles…)
Authorities are searching for two carjacking suspects involved in the shooting of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Sunday morning in South El Monte.
The deputy, a 13-year veteran assigned to the department's Temple Station, was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released, said Capt. Mike Parker, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department. His name was not immediately released.
The deputy was wounded about 9 a.m. after exchanging gunfire with a man and woman who were riding in a 1994 Ford Explorer near the intersection of Durfee Avenue and Michael Hunt Drive, Parker said. The suspects then fled and remain at large, he said.
The incident began when the man, armed with a shotgun, got out of the Explorer and began shooting at the deputy, Parker said. It was unclear what prompted the shooting, but at some point the deputy had run a check on the Explorer's license plate and a report came back "armed and dangerous," Parker said.
"It was their actions or the way they were driving that caused him to run the license plate," Parker said. The vehicle had been involved in a robbery and was placed in the system three days ago by another police department, he said.
After the shooting, the suspects fled on foot toward the parking lot of a nearby convenience store with the deputy in pursuit, he said.
The deputy and the man again exchanged gunfire, and the deputy was hit, Parker said.
Khai Huynh, 62, who lives in the neighborhood, said he was cooking at home when he heard four gunshots. Huynh said he walked outside to see sparks exploding from a nearby utility pole, which apparently had been struck by the gunfire.
Huynh said he went back inside and upstairs to his room, where he saw that a bullet had gone through his window and struck a wall.
"It was a little scary to see that," Huynh said.
After the second shooting, the suspects fled on foot and committed multiple carjackings, Parker said. They used a stolen Nissan Armada to drive to South Gate, where they stole a light blue 1996 Plymouth Voyager van with a California license plate of 3PHK484, he said.
The shooter was described as a 6-foot, 3-inch black man in his early 20s, weighing 180 pounds and wearing a white shirt and black pants. The female suspect was described as a 5-foot,6-inch black woman wearing a multicolored shirt and black pants.
Anyone with information about the suspects or the van is asked to call 911, Parker said.