Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck defends massive dragnet in officer-shooting case

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck defends massive dragnet in officer-shooting case

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and others on Thursday strongly defended the decision to lock down 7 square miles of the west San Fernando Valley as they searched for a gunman who shot a police officer a day earlier near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills

"I know the parents are upset, but it would be nothing compared to what they would feel if their children were needlessly exposed to an armed gunman. Those kids' safety is No. 1," Beck said. "This guy had shown total disregard for public safety and the community by shooting an armed police officer who was doing his job," Beck said.

Assistant Police Chief Earl Paysinger added: "We would be irresponsible in a fresh and unfolding tactical situation to expose young people to the threat of an armed gunman who has already demonstrated his intention to commit violence."

Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said the size of the dragnet zone around the shooting site was due to several factors. He said police initially had a limited description of the suspect, who was armed and running through the neighborhood. The LAPD also got several 911 calls reporting possible prowlers in the area. Police charted the calls and set the dragnet accordingly, Albanese said, not knowing whether the calls involved the gunman.

The suspect eluded the massive dragnet set up after the shooting near El Camino Real. The LAPD closed off a large swath of the area as more than 300 officers searched for the gunman. More than 9,000 students spent hours locked inside their schools.


LAPD defends massive dragnet for gunman who shot officer

Parents wait hours in line to get children at Hale Middle School

Teacher, students shared food, kept spirits high inside El Camino Real High classroom

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck heads to a news conference at Hale Middle School on Thursday. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (47)

Beck is right on this, imagine had the cops not did all they did and a kid got shot as a result? The public outcry would be 1000 times worse.

I totally agree that this man needs to be caught but working in the area the events that took place yesterday were extreme to say the least. The shooting occurred at 12pm and they finally concluded the search at 9:30pm...tied up 3000 personnel for over 9 hours. Nice waste of my tax paying money. Thanks LAPD!

Its very dissappointing the LAPD does not have the same urgency or presence when a civilian gets shot or killed.

Another example of ObamaCare gone awry.

Cops go nuts when someone shoots a cop, even the chief. You don't see them shutting down entire neighborhoods when an "ordinary" citizen is shot.

This was a definite over reaction. The police feel safer over-reacting rather than under-responding in light of the shooting at the Gardena High school the day before. The shooting happened off campus; the fact that it involved a school police officer started the self-feeding frenzy. The police ordered all the seven schools to keep the students inside the classrooms. Why would a shooter run into a school to barricade himself? It only stressed out parents and students more keeping them up locked up for six hours.

To my understanding no one was killed or even critically injured as the bullet did not penetrate the victims [officers] skin. Moreover, the shooting did not happen on a school campus, should that fact even matter. So why the massive show of force? People get shot nearly everyday in the valley without even a helicopter responding. Someone please explain this to me!

Someone willing to shoot at a cop would find it really easy to kill a civilian. This shooter will do it again until he is caught. LAPD did it right in trying to catch him immediately knowing that each hour diminished the chance of finding him.

Cops looking out for their own. SSDD

Great job Chief. I have an innate distrust of cops ...but I have to give them thumbs up on this one. My kids go to school out there and people miss these points 1) this guy had no respect for an armed cop (so why should he respect you) and 2) "at large" he was still out there somewhere.

As a homeowner within the dragnet, I say thank you. It was much easier to convince my wife to feel somewhat safer yesterday and that the dark areas in your backyard or storage sheds were not a hiding spot for a fugitive who is obviously panicked and desperate. Once you experience the same feeling at home, you may understand.

At least they weren't trigger-happy Police Officers. The motto in my city is "shoot first, ask questions later". And, it is sad and true that if a Police Officer gets shot, no stone is left unturned. I don't blame them because you have to protect your own.

Don't inconvenience anyone, ever.

It's just some guy that shot someone, who happened to be a cop and happened to get shot in the BP vest. So the guy was still armed and running through the area.

Let him go, it's a waste of time and money to ever look for bad guys, especially if it's an inconvenience to anyone.

Maybe some kid will catch him.

OK people...yes they do shut do everything when a civilian is shot. Geez...always something to complain about. Just like when a civilian is shot everyone is complaining that streets are blocked, why are there so many police there...etc etc...ALWAYS SOMETHING! STOP COMPLAINING!

I was inconvenienced by this nonsense. The shooter had clearly left the area, or gone home. To cordon off 7 square miles was a massive over reaction. Over the years, I've come to realize that most LAPD members are incompetent and/or unethical.

Since the massive dragnet failed to yield any results defending it now seems incredibly stupid. But then these are cops and their intellectual powers are not nearly as developed as their beer muscles.

Cops pulling out the stops for cops. Plain and simple.

All the attention and precautions and extra man hours because a cop was shot...

Yet if ANY regular civilian was shot...catch my drift?

The L.A Police considers civilians less then any Police officer. Its their US against THEM mentality. They always remind us when something like this happens that being a police officer is so dangerous. Being a police officer is way down on the most dangerous job list and if they think its that dangerous then quit instead of wining all the time about how dangerous it is. After all it is voluntary to enter the police academy.

I don't know about anybody else who had children at one of the locked-down schools, but I was absolutely thrilled that LAPD took the safety of our kids so seriously following this incident. This shooting took place just a few feet from a crowded high school and just yards away from a large middle school. The fugitive is clearly a cold-blooded killer who may be holding a family hostage somewhere as I write this. It was so reassuring to see all the police cars, helicopters and uniformed officers swarming over that area trying to find this animal. If nothing else, it forced him to keep his head down or flee from the area. Good job, LAPD. This also sends a great message to any criminal who might have similar plans.

The Bell shooting of a 16 year old student a block from
campus will have more lasting consequences to the victim. What was the response there? 35 officers for 3 hours? If that! Fairness and Equality?

What a batch of clueless gomers commenting on this incident. Of course they pull out all the stops when somebody shoots a cop. Some knuckle-wad who will shoot a at a policeman will shoot at anybody. And if you're whining about how long it took or the number of resources used, you've clearly never been involved in such an operation, either in the military or in law enforcement. And "u know" is absolutely right--if a child had been injured by whistle-nuts, the same crybabies would be getting all misty-eyed about why the police hadn't done more. Beck has nothing to defend; his police department did their job.

aw the dragnet... It was HUGE!!!!
It was hours and hours of police sirens zooming here and there, in convoys of unmarked police cars and even what looked like personal cars with deep undercover officers (long hair, etc...) zooming around the streets in fast moving convoys. 9 helicopters hovered overhead. for over ten hours.
If it were a citizen... Well, we would never have heard about it.

And why didnt the cop who was shot, shoot the guy back?
Is this one of those out of shape lazy cops that cant even draw a weapon, or run, a donut eater??? I hope not. But feel as though it is a feasible question considering.
I am aware of rapes and burglary and murder occurring all the time here in l.a. never have i seen that kind of response to anything by our cops.

more and more we mere lowly citizens are an outcast class in this country, and soon only public employees will get anything... like jobs, pensions, security...

We are not blind. and we are not stupid.
cops help cops!!! and the rest of us are just a paycheck to these people.

Standar, next time call in the Sheriff's. LAPD has some real tactical issues.

Just like always has happen, LASD comes in an polices it's areas much better than LAPD.

Why the Show of Force?
#1 a Cop was shot, and would have die had he not had his vest on.
#2 it's the West Valley. thing like this don't happen over here west of topanga cyn.

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: