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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)

deception. This is a very cheap LAUSD computer. lol

What happened to due process? Cortines wants this guy OUT!!!! For a lie? Is that grounds for termination? This is AMERICA. FREEDOM OF SPEECH. He just chose to use his speech in tangling a web of lies!!!Cortines thinks he is Mr. Obama.
You are not. Hey, I thought you were retired? Go away already.

Look at the bright side at least the Lizard in Riverside wasn't blamed.

I am a retired police officer and attended the LA County Sheriff's Academy in the early 80's. We didn't have a lot of respect for the clowns attending the academy that were destined to be school police. They seemed like the rejects that real police departments wouldn't take. The sharpest candidates went to the larger agencies and the rift raft left over went to schools. The schools was like the law enforcement option of last resort for people one click above a security guard.

Speaking as a law enforcement officer, if this guy stupidly shot himself and fabricated this story, they can't put him away long enough. He scared and disrupted an entire community and made fools out of hundreds of dedicated officers looking for a phantom that didn't exist when they could have been doing something more useful someplace else. What a disgrace.

People think that police officers will back and accept any behavior, however abhorrent, by their fellow officers and I can tell you that that just isn't true. There may be a handful of officers that might, but by and large, nobody hates these jacka**es more than the good police officers as they make us all look bad. Officers like them are why so many people dislike and distrust police officers. The antics of a very few paint us all with the same brush.

In response o Hank's post. I'm a parent at Woodlake and how dare you try to make me feel guilty for supporting the LAPD's decision to keep our kids in lock-down. No one imagined that this would have been the outcome and so, yes, I still support the LAPD and LAUSD's decisions that day but I am fuming at 'former' Officer Stenroos. This was his doing and he should be making a personal appearance at the schools affected to formally apologize to the students and faculty and take responsibility for his actions.

What can you learn from this?
Not sure but even at the time hearing that the police locked down all those schools in the valley seemed like an over-reaction.
Sure you lock down the school where it happened but locking down all the surrounding schools is over-kill. I mean students in schools not close by can't even go the bathroom?
They need to reexamine their policies when they start locking down multiple schools not related to the incident.

Didn't the original story claim there was someone who saw the incident and used the police radio to call for help? Was that a lie too, or just bad reporting?

Over 300 officers were pulled off other areas while the suspect was looked for. It was a very unuusal description. A white guy in his 40's with a grey ponytail. There aren't 10 people fitting that description in the West Valley, especially who would pack heat and be burgaling cars. I was surprised when that many cops turned up nothing but thought the crook musthave been looking to steal the car to evade another crime. And now it all makes MUCH more sense. Well, looks like the UK will have to wait another week to report on how bad gun crime is in the US.

The Redcoats are coming the Redcoats are coming !!
Kill an overpaid cop -- Join the Tea Party.
          They dont call them PIGS for nothing;
           first to the trough. 
After the Revolution read your Whiskey Rebellion history,
where GW & Alexander(central bank)Hamilton
slammed a federal excise tax on the poor farmers
& backed it up personally with the military force !

Disgrace to his badge? Isn't this is what cops do? Other than pulling over little old ladies for traffic tickets, what do they do all day? Then they retire at 50 and get a soft and easy pension. It's time for massive budget cuts.

I wonder if this guy would have come clean if the police arrested some poor minority and charged him with the crime.

This is yet another situation in a ever larger list of compromised and unbalanced response in terms of police versus the everyday citizen.

We have problems in our nation. Big problems with corruption and crime at the root.

The police will not allow us to "take the law into our own hands".

At the same time the police don't do anything about the corruption for fear of their jobs or because they are serving the corruption on some level.

We will never be able to directly address the situation at hand until the police and the citizen are one and the same.

Dealing with this situation will be different depending on locale but the longer we wait, the worse it gets.

We either fix this or the criminal element will continue to take hold.

Let's just put all the police on a salary without overtime. I know that when I put in 12 - 16 hour days nobody pays me extra, in fact I work on commission; in fact I don't even get a pension or retirement benefits. Sounds to me like we should either start firing the police as they don't care what happens to normal citizens, remember the recent Marina Del Rey killing by police officers, whatever happened to those cops? this was just last week.

If we put them on a regular salary without a pension they will work regular hours or overtime without being paid an arm and a leg; plus based on their performance why the hell are we paying them overtime any way. More importantly let's start replacing these officers with unemployed non-union workers as they would love a job to be paid.

Everybody thinks cops and firemen are all "models of conduct". They have their own share of YO-YO's within their population. They ain't any better than the rest of us little citizens. Driving around like super hero's in Batmobile's wearing costumes and carrying guns; it goes to some of their heads. All that power.

So Epic - I know what really happened. See the move "superbad"

Makes one wonder what else this idiot was lying about.

Former USC Professor- Are you a relative of Mr. Stenroos? I would hope the standards for professorship at USC would include the ability to spell hear correctly. My guess is you are lying about your title.

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

Posted by: former USC Professor | January 27, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Hey Bill: Are speaking from personal experience? You sound like you know all about filing ficticious police reports . . .

Yes JD, lets lower the police salary, take away their pension and benefits and not pay them overtime. Yes, lets give them the same financial incentives as lets say a manager at Verizon. Police only risk their lives everyday and deal with an angry public when a small percentage of them screw up. It's not like there are any bad doctors, lawyers, teachers, politicians or other leaders that screw up too. All their salaries should be lowered as well! If you're unhappy with the current police force, can you imagine the the people who would take a police position without a good salary, pension, benefits and no overtime?

Let's not rush to judgement. I still think he is innocent.

I say this is PAR for the course for law enforcement. They LIE and make up stories all the time. Its just that they hide it better because they control the information and the media. I want to know what Police agency is going to pay for this, it should not be the tax payers. I say that the law needs to change since law enforcement is always right when you go to court. Average citizens are never right according to judges in the court room. All police officers effective Feb. 2011 will take a 15% cut in pay. This is what I propose. The laws in this country are outrageous to private citizens, we flip the bill, pay the price, and bend over everyday.

I like reading the comments from all the cry baby, cop haters. There are bad and good cops. Cops are people doing a job others won't or are too scared to do. If I'm ever in a life threatening position I'll take my chance with the police coming to my aid, I know they will fight for me and place their life on the line to save me, an unknown. Unlike the majority of the people that responded negatively to this article. You want a preview of how most people care about one another. Go to any store that gives small samples of food out. Watch the faces and attitudes of the people around you as they see your a little closer to the free sample than they are. It's disgusting to watch and those people are lower middle to upper class.

You think police officers are Devil's with horns. What till you don't have them around anymore you ill see what a real Devil is..........

This guy has been suspended from the LAUSD Police Dept.
I don't understand why it's a PAID suspension!!!

Thank you Officer D-Bag, because nobody really had anything better to do than track down your phantom attacker.

Hey, former USC Professor....It's hear, not here!


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