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LAUSD police officer admitted fabricating shooting story, source says

Authorities arrested Los Angeles school police Officer Jeff Stenroos on suspicion of filing a false police report after he allegedly admitted to fabricating a story that he had been shot last week in Woodland Hills, according to a senior LAPD official close to the investigation.

Click to see interactive map of area crimesThe official said investigators are still piecing together how Stenroos pulled off the alleged hoax, which sparked a dragnet that inconvenienced thousands of people after police shut down a large swath of Woodland Hills in search of the supposed gunman.

The source added that Stenroos' protective vest showed obvious signs of having been struck by a bullet, and the officer also suffered bruising on his chest. Detectives later raised questions about whether the officer shot himself accidentally and then fabricated a story or concocted the whole scenario.

The source declined to say whether additional arrests would be made in the case.

"Obviously, it's as shocking to us as it is to anyone else," Steven Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles Unified School District Police Department, said Thursday night. 

Zipperman, who recently left the Los Angeles Police Department, where he had been a captain, said his department is cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

The president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League called the incident an "embarrassment to law enforcement."

"The law enforcement community is disgusted," Paul M. Weber said in a statement. "While Mr. Stenroos is a disgrace to his badge, his individual and dangerous actions should not reflect on the hardworking men and women in law enforcement."


Thousands trapped inside police shooting perimeter in Woodland Hills

Woodland Hills search area one of largest in recent LAPD history

Reward up to $100,000 in shooting of school officer

-- Joel Rubin

Comments () | Archives (103)

Hilarious. I think this guy and OJ should team up to find the real killer.

I am waiting to here from Mr. Alaniz. He sure has been one busy guy the last few weeks.

I am waiting to here from Mr. Alaniz. He sure has been one busy guy the last few weeks.

Wow. Stunning development. The possibility never crossed my mind.

What a nimrod. This was yapped about here on local radio about how many resources were being used to find the shooter. Man. I hope they make this guy pay. I was in traffic for hours.

If this had been joe citizen shot they would have sent two patrol cars after about two hours and spent 20 minutes at the scene. They mobolized well over 300 officers and countless resources becaues it was one of their own?

Hardworking men and women of law enforcement? Was that meant as a joke?

Thanks to this guy wanting attention like an immature college professor, the rest of the hard working men and women in law enforcement have to be the victims of cowardly, cheap, unoriginal, and predictable shots.

it's normal for police to lie in police reports. they are not lawyers, so they're more into what gets the job done.

so maybe somehow (booze?) he shot himself in his vest and in shock fell over, and the good samaritan came over to help, and he was still in shock and just started inventing stuff.

i wonder who gets the 100k reward.

I HATE abusers of power like this. Stunts like this only increase the level of unnecessary fear in this society, an undeniably undesirable influence on all our lives.

BURN HIM AT THE STAKE for God's Sake. Imagine in the ensuing dragnet the possibility of an accidental ID of someone, anyone, then being shot. This guy is just plain disgusting. Despicable.

I had a little bit of a feeling. Shooting near El Camino Real? The guy supposedly resembled a cross between a hippie and a militia member? Yea, it makes sense now

So let me get this straight---a Los Angeles Unified School District cop claims he was shot. The entire valley, it seems like, is put on lock down. The Los Angeles Times, other media outlets, and the LAPD devote hours of airtime, pages covering the story, and hundreds of man-hours. However, when the story turns out to be a hoax we, the citizenry, get only a couple of paragraphs of information online, no news coverage on TV, and no information from law enforcement officials as to how highly-trained personnel were so easily duped!!?

This, truly, is the decline of our society. Forget everything else. This is where we start becoming a police state. A normal citizen gets shot... no big deal. A normal citizen of color gets shot...who cares? A LAUSD police officer "claims" he was shot with no physical evidence of such... lets shut down the freeways, create a 7-mile perimeter, and burden hundreds of thousand of tax-paying citizens, while officers are earning overtime, during a severe financial crisis, but never caring to check if there is any physical evidence showing the officer was actually shot in the first place.

A suspect dressed in a bomber jacket and blue jeans and in his forties; committing property crimes while carrying a gun in the middle of the day near a high school parking lot? Sounds only just a little more plausible than a LAUSD officer shooting his vest and/or himself with his vest on and then reporting it.

I think we have a new replacement for Hillary Clinton if she decides to quit her job.

Another "Gold Star" for the LA Unified. At least it wasn't a teacher. Now the school cops get a turn in the frying pan. Thanks a lot Stenroos, or is it spelled r-u-s-e?

iamwithmikeohara - stunning, crazy, bordering on bizarre....

If the cop had just turned himself in, he could have qualified for the 100 grand reward.

Don't forget about the thousands of school kids who were locked down in their classrooms and weren't allowed to even use the restroom after this "shooting." How does everyone who argued that that was justified feel now?

our "hero." what a jackass.

The sketch of the "suspect" did look a lot like Bruce Willis with hair and a ponytail. I guess he could not come up with something more unique. What a waste of resources and time. Its great to see how motivated the police are when its one of their own but you would never see this expense and manpower used on ordinary citizens. Seems like more and more stories are popping up where the truth involving these shootings are not always what we hear. I believe new training as far as proper gun handling and rules of engagement are in order. I support the police and believe that we are lucky to have all the good police that are out there but its a shame that these loser, trigger happy, lying, and corrupt police have to tarnish what so many others work hard for. Weed them out and consider your entire decision making paradigm might need a look at.

This is absurd, clearly many of these officers left other schools to help out at El Camino.....I agree with JD..
This guy needs to be locked up and have a good psych evaluation. Our hard earned tax dollars have gone to waste!

What a disgrace. Most police officers do a good job. This bum needs to be thrown in jail.

I am shocked that he blamed a white guy. Although, in hindsight it was a good idea.

First of all, as a student that was locked down at El Camino for 5+ hours, I have to say that I am absolutely shocked and disgusted at this new development. Not only was millions of tax payer money wasted on this fraud while half of the valley was shut down, but ECR's squeaky clean reputation suffered. There is a reason why Elco is considered the best public school in the Valley. It really is academically superior, as well as one of the safest schools in Los Angeles. I have NEVER felt unsafe in my four years of attending this school, and it saddens me that our safety is now being questioned.

More importantly, however, is that one of my good friends actually witnessed the incident (was walking to his car as he gets out of school early) and NEVER heard a gun shot, but instead saw Stenroos holding on to the fender of his police car, gasping for air. Not only would someone that was ten feet away from the incident hear a gunshot, but students would too, as it was nearby some classrooms. My assumption from this is that he shot himself in the chest, but the question that remains is "why?"

This is a truly shocking turn of events and I'm glad justice is being served. I also hope that Stenroos receives the psychiatric help he so clearly needs.

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