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.
The 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."
-- Joel Rubin