LOS ANGELES - A man armed with a shotgun and a handgun opened fire on Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies Monday in the parking lot of their station, unleashing a brief gunfight that ended with the suspect’s death, authorities said.
No one else was injured. Investigators were trying to determine what led the 47-year-old man to shoot at deputies in Temple City, about 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
The man had walked into the station and told deputies that he wanted to register as a sex offender, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said. The deputies “felt something was amiss” and followed the man into the parking lot, where he opened fire on them, McDonnell said.
The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, then hopped into his SUV and kept shooting from the vehicle as the deputies returned fire, the sheriff said at a news conference.
Video from news helicopters showed more than a dozen sheriff’s deputies taking cover behind several patrol cars with their guns pointed at the SUV.
After a gunbattle that lasted several minutes, the sheriff’s SWAT team arrived and surrounded the vehicle. After throwing a stun grenade, about a half-dozen deputies took cover behind a ballistic shield and slowly approached the SUV to find the suspect dead inside the car, authorities said.
Though deputies fired several rounds, investigators believe the man took his own life, sheriff’s Capt. Steve Katz said.
“We don’t know what circumstance led him to the action this morning,” Katz said.
Investigators recovered both a shotgun and a handgun from the vehicle.
Although authorities have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, McDonnell said the “assault on deputies” underscores the dangers law enforcement officers face on a daily basis.
“We’re very, very fortunate no deputies were injured,” he said.