Southern California -- this just in

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

LAPD defends massive dragnet for gunman who shot officer; search resumes this morning

The Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday was resuming its search for a suspect who opened fire on  a school police officer in Woodland Hills, saying they hoped to distribute a composite sketch later Thursday.

The suspect eluded a massive 7-square-mile dragnet the LAPD set up after the shooting in front of El Camino Real High School. The LAPD closed off a large swath of the area as more than 300 officers searched for the gunman. More than 8,000 students spent hours locked inside their schools.

Police said they had no regrets that people were inconvenienced.

"Our police officer was inconvenienced because he was shot," LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said. "I stand by these decisions."

Authorities also tried to reassure parents, students and residents that the area would be safe when classes resumed Thursday morning.

"The students can come here and feel safe," Los Angeles school police Chief Steven Zipperman said."We will have a very strong presence here and in and around campus."

Some students who were reunited with their parents following the lockdown Wednesday of nine area schools told the Los Angeles Times that they were not planning to go to school Thursday morning.

The officer was shot in the chest, but he was saved by protective body armor, authorities said. Zipperman said the officer had been released from a hospital and was resting at home with his family.

That massive search disrupted daily routines for thousands of people as cars were searched, roads were blocked and schools were sealed.

Albanese said the gunman, whom the officer stopped after noticing suspicious activity, made a "huge, huge statement" by opening fire in the middle of the day.

"When a police officer's life is threatened," Albanese said, "it threatens our very existence."

Anyone with information is asked to call (877) LAPD 24-7 (527-3247).

The dragnet Wednesday trapped thousands of students and teachers inside their classrooms for hours. The time passed slowly in Natasha Zwick's English class at El Camino Real High School.

To pass the time, Zwick and her 36 students set up a television and watched newscasts about the shooting. Soon, they became hungry and shared a sandwich, a bag of pretzels and a few other snacks that students had brought.

"The bathroom was the worst issue because we weren't allowed out," Zwick told the L.A. Times.

She said they set up a makeshift bathroom with a trash can. It wasn't ideal, she said, but no one complained.

"The kids were amazing," Zwick said.  "Nobody complained, nobody whined, nobody cried."


Students pour out of El Camino Real High after lockdown

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

-- Bob Pool and Robert J. Lopez

Comments () | Archives (64)

1. Cops need the OT

2. Why are they allowed to text non-stop while on duty?

3. They claim the guy was so much more dangerous because he was brave enough to shoot a cop, that this justifies the OT and show of force. Actually, unless you are a uniformed cop, this guy is like a beehive, leave him alone and he leaves you alone.

4. If there is a lawsuit and I am on the jury- the city will be bankrupt over this.

5. If you live in the perimiter and you are in your yard with a weapon (completely legal) will they take your head off?

'lot to consider here...

I'm sorry but the comments on here are sad..."I 'seen' cops just standing around"..."if he 'dont' want to risk it"....

Sounds like a few of you should have been locked down in school for while too...

To Private S

Ride along were discontinued about 5+years ago,

Typical LAPD...still haven't caught the guy

The teacher said that they had to use a trash can. That tells me that the school isn't really set up for lockdown situations. There are inexpensive kits with buckets, toilet seats, covers and a sand that works just like kitty litter to help with absorbtion and smell, along with a portable frame and privacy screen. Being set up for contingencies like this can make the lockdown situation less stressful for the kids.

First off, when a cop approaches somebody who is obviously up to some shenanigans, how does he let the suspect draw a gun and shoot him? These days cops approach people's pets with their guns drawn, so I'm thinking there's a reason this cop is a "School Cop" and not a real cop like his buddies, the department probably saw he was a dim bulb and stuffed him into a school and out of sight.

Secondly, they deployed 300 of L.A.'s finest and still came up empty handed? How is that even possible? This is actually a humiliating embarrassment to the LAPD. 300 officers and they got nothing? If each officer cost the city $200 for this charade (a wild guess, but maybe close) this Keystone Cop Kabuki Theater cost us taxpayers a cool $60,000.

Man our public servants are incompetent!

"Why should they feel a need to defend their actions?"

Well, for one thing, because after all this disruption, and overtime, they didn't find him!

To Mr. GIL

I was not aware of that, maybe they changed it again because I had a friend who did one last year. He even did a short film on youtube. All he had to do was fill out a liability and short version of background and wait for a call.



Who will guard the guards? In Los Angeles, no one. Police are meant to serve and protect the people, the taxpayers. But instead they serve and protect themselves; they have built themselves a glorified position which places them above the common man. Their word is more valuable in court, their lives are more valuable, their motives are always pure and their actions are beyond questioning, or reproach; and why? Why of course because they are they police. I've never had reason to be afraid for my well being, personal, emotional, or financial, unless the police have been around. I've never been robbed, or extorted by anyone except the police. I never had a reason to fear for my life except the time I had a police officers gun pointed in my face (coincidentally not the only gun I've had pointed at me). I've never broken the law, other than speeding, and never had a reason to fear anyone in my life and yet I will always have a healthy fear of the cops, they are the same as the Bloods, Crips, or whoever else. And selfish actions of this incident and the impunity with which they act all the time are the only evidence needed to verify this.

If this situation does not describe everything that needs to be said about our cops, then I don't know what will. 300 cops could not find the guy. Nothing unusual, but where is the justification that 10,000 cops, not one less, as touted by our Mayor would do the job. Policing is not about numbers but intelligence, which seems to be lacking to a great extent. But I can't blame the cops either, led as they are by an idiot Mayor and City Council, who should be the ire of this fiasco rather the cops who have been given a carte blanche to do as they please in this city for way too long. People should be calling the Mayor, who has over 200 staff (God knows what they do) and the Council offices.

I understand that an officer was shot, and there was an armed gum man out there and he was not afraid to shoot. As a resident on Burbank Blvd, just a block from El Camino, I have to say that this was over the top on many levels. The lock down was a complete misuse of power. If this had been a student, faculty or resident that was shot, they would not have shut down the entire neighborhood.

I am glad that the officer was not hurt, a bump on the head and a bit shaken up, but he was fine. I am not happy with the way the LAPD reacted with abuse of power. I would like to know why they did not get a composite drawing of this guy yet. The cop is fine, they were driving suspects to Northridge (why not West Hills or Tarzana?) for him to ID and yet there is no sketch of the suspect??? And his description changed during the day. This guy has gone from 30-40 average height and build with brown hair. To very tall and thin, late 40’s with gray hair. Come on, it was 11:30 in the day, the cop was face to face with him and they don’t know what he looks like. So after 10 hours, 350 cops, 8-10 helicopters, at least 2 full swat teams with multiple dogs, a 7 mile area locked down, and still no suspect. Yes I feel real safe now, thanks.

On a lighter side, I’m still laughing over the squad car that was being followed by a helicopter taking a suspect to Northridge to be ID’d by the cop, pulls into the drive through at Jack in the Box! ROFL, really just need to stop and get a quick bite to eat… there are 8000 kids hungry and possibly the shooter of a cop in the back seat and this one stops for lunch on Victory and Platt, Classic.

I agree with A Wilson. Many officers standing around doing nothing. Why weren't they searching? I know the donut shop delivers. Man power wasted tax dollars wasted. City broke . Why were there hundreds of officers standing around. This man power should have been used to allow our children the decency they deserve. Cortines: I am surprised the wind don't blow you away like dumbo.

During the search did officers break into homes to search? Who pays for those repairs?

I saw the ambulance that took the officer to Northridge Hospital. 3 motor officers nearly caused several accidents going down Roscoe. Racing into intersections with out looking hoping not to get killed

@ KE You are ignorant! Crackhead started shooting was the Police Officers fault? Really! Obviously you are in trouble with the law or have been in the past. All the people that complain about being inconvienenced I have two words for you. TOO BAD!!! Get over it. When you call the police you want them there to help you. One of them was shot in the street and the suspect fled on foot into the community. You really think that the police are just going to stand by when one of their own gets shot? Not a chance. I say good job to LAPD and LAUSDPD for their risking their lives to protect our community.

My neighborhood was in the zone, and my kids were locked down. Thankfully we live in a country where the calvary will come to our aid and I can feel safe with my kids that the cops are protecting us. Yesterday was a success in that regard, and any idiots who think differently should try living in the third world for awhile, and see how much they miss reliable Police.

Unfortunately, it seems like numbers dont equal effectiveness, so the LAPD has to assess this response and why so many cops were sitting idle. Every door should have been knocked on in our perimeter, surely. If that didnt happen, then the LAPD needs to investigate their processes, because the result was a fail in the end.

Be that as it may, im eternally grateful that such a rapid, powerful response was taken in my neighborhood and with my kids' schools. I wish this response could happen on any such terrible occasion, in any neighborhood.

Despite the alleged wasted, this April, I will happily pay my muni and state taxes, as our city's finest came to our aid.

I only would hope that the LAPD were given orders to shoot this guy on site.

« | 1 2 3


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: