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Officer's story of being shot was inconsistent from the beginning, Chief Beck says

Lausd_officer_shot LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said there were early questions about Los Angeles School Police Department officer Jeff Stenroos' claims that an assailant shot him outside El Camino Real High School last week.

"There were some inconsistencies that emerged early on," Beck said Friday. "It was just recently that we were able to get accurate information."

Police announced Thursday that Stenroos' story of being shot was concocted. Stenroos has been booked on a felony charge of filing a false police report and was released on $20,000 bail Friday morning.

Beck said officials are trying to sort out what actually happened. The officer's vest was hit by a bullet, but it's unclear if the shooting took place near the school. Beck would not say whether detectives thought it was an accident.

"The entire city was led down a path of misinformation," the chief said.

Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon Cortines issued an apology, noting that the shooting case caused thousands of students to be under lockdown for hours.

"On behalf of the thousands of dedicated professionals that comprise the Los Angeles Unified School District, I would like to apologize to the public for the hoax that was perpetrated by a rogue officer of the Los Angeles School Police," Cortines said in a statement. "Thousands of people were inconvenienced by the actions of this one man. I want to again apologize to everyone who was alarmed, who worked long hours and who were adversely affected by his actions."

Cortines said the LAUSD has relieved Stenroos of duty and begun the process of firing him.

"Although Jeff Stenroos was an eight-year veteran of the Los Angeles School Police, his actions in no way reflect the professionalism and integrity of the men and women who protect and serve this District every day," he added.

Paul M. Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said Stenroos was a "disgrace."

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

Police had said Stenroos was shot in the chest Jan. 19 after he confronted a man who was attempting to break into vehicles near the eastern boundary of El Camino Real High School campus. Stenroos' bulletproof vest absorbed the impact of a single gunshot, which Los Angeles Police Department officials said could easily have killed the officer.

The incident sparked a massive police response that inconvenienced thousands of people for the day as officers blocked roads, locked down schools and refused to let people in or out of a 7-square-mile area.

Authorities arrested Stenroos after he allegedly admitted to fabricating the story, a senior LAPD official close to the investigation told The Times.

RELATED:

Outrage, disappointment over police officer who allegedly lied about being shot

Thousands trapped inside police shooting perimeter in Woodland Hills

Woodland Hills search area one of largest in recent LAPD history

-- Richard Winton, Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: The scene at Burbank Boulevard and Manton Avenue on Jan. 19, with El Camino Real High School in the background. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (51)

Let's see.....a member of law enforcement lies, and everyone acts surprised. Wow, quite a concept.

Hero to goat.

Everyone seems to want to jump on the bandwagon criticizing Stenross. It would seem that there are some serious mental issues here. While what he allegedly did has no justification, let's wait with piling on til the reasons are known.

What a shame that so many people were traumitized by this incompetant, lying jerk. Fire him, jail him.

"There were some inconsistencies that emerged early on," Beck said Friday.

Define 'early', please.

Early enough that someone should have come to their senses & called off the dragnet & lockdowns?

I have to say that if LAPD's leadership couldn't recognize there was something off, on both the original story, as well as their response to it, then perhaps new leadership is also in order.

Glad to see that the cops had not blindly bought into this story and were skeptical from the beginning. Once they cracked the story of the delusional crooked Los Angeles Unified School police officer and arrested him should give all of us citizens faith in that the authorities could be trusted to investigate and bring justice to their own.

This shows the professionalism of the LAPD. It also greatly contradicts the theory of some that the cops lie for each other and cover up for each other. Clearly that is not the case.

Thanks "Officer" Stenroos. That's why you couldn't make in a REAL Police Department.

So... where did the bullet come from? If no one shot him, he shot himself then? How does one go about shooting themselves in the chest? It really doesn't seem like it could be done accidentally, at least not while holding your firearm properly. I am curious to see the forensics of this story. If the bullet came from his own firearm or if he really planned this out and used another gun. Do police get any type of benefit for being shot on duty? Where's the motive?

It was suspect from the start so they do this huge, giant, enormous lockdown??????

Bratton had his faults but he was a serious intellectual. Can we get another chief in his mold?

Wow, that's even worse. Does "early on" mean while you forced hundreds (thousands?) of people to remain caged like animals while you indulged the fantasies of "one of your own"?

If the story was inconsistent from the start, why did it recquire such a massive response?.......I'll tell you why....These cops are little boys playing cowboy, only with real guns and real bad guys....they like attention, just like children do....but, when the odds are not greatly in their favor, many of them are cowards...witness the two recent unprovoked shootings in the greater LA area...an unarmed naked man in Playa del Rey, a drunk playing with a hose nozzle in Long Beach....I don't care how the cops spin these stories, they were acts of cowardice and will cost both cities and their residents untold millions, and justly so...

It is unfortunate that if the officer felt compelled to lie that he couldn't tell a lie that would not impact the education of thousands of young people.

Interruptions to the school day make it very hard to keep the students on track. Not only were the hours of the lockdown a lost opportunity for instruction, but the discussion that is going to take place afterwards is also going to divert the students from learning the things they need to learn.

I hope that someone brings a civil suit and deprives this fool of every last dime he has.

This is weird. I thought the police said they found shell casings at the scene and that a "good samaritan" had come to Stenroos asistance after the shooting? Did none of that happen?

Sounds like a cop-on-cop shooting.

And the department apparently agrees with the shooter.

So how did a story inconsistant from the beginning result in one of the largest LAPD manhunts in recent history? Unbelievable...

LAPD lying? NO WAY!!

Maybe most of the inconvenienced students will one day be lawyers and politicians who dismantle excessive cop pensions and take away police union power. One can hope.

This Officer's story stunk from the beginning and I did'nt have to read it in the times to know it.

Beck should be fired!

Not that LAUSD is in any financial difficulty of late (heh heh), but wait for the hundreds of lawsuits from the parents, and others greatly inconvenienced by more than 300 law enforcement personnel closing down streets late into the evening.

folks, LA School Police Department is not the same as the LAPD. These are two totally different law enforcement agencies, independent of each other, with different policies, procedures and structure.

So who the hell shot him, himself?
What a turd.

Gee, we knew it soundy phony but we still decided to lockdown the school for 6 hours and bring in 40 police officers for a 10 hour search just to make sure. But when a kid is shot in South L.A. you're lucky to see one squad car drive by.

We sometimes have double homicides in Los Angeles and it's a open shut go home case. That particular day.. the L.A.P.D. showed it's true colors by making a whole school of children starve, use garbage cans to defecate and urinate. Then the nightmare overtime money drain to us already struggling Angelino's. Then the gross abuse of more tax payer dollars to hire an artist, who by the way look top of the line and to pay for a exaggerated amount for the reward, coming out in numbers to plea for people to ADD to the reward money. The extra security the following weeks, all the undercovers.. i bet the total tally has already surpassed $2,000,000.00 in all fairness. This is extreme abuse of power, proof the L.A.P.D. has a "cult like" tradition of treating their own as gold, while always protecting killer cops. Lets work the cut the L.A.P.D. in half, hire actual cops that patrol and not drive by on the cell phones chatting with their partners. I was around that area that day, nothing more that cops talking to each other... and on their personal cellphones, WHILE DRIVING. Send them back to the old station, sell the new building, stop wasting SO much money on theur firearms training, and take their rifles and sell them... their shotguns are enough to drop an Elephant. Seriously, we need more cops in bikes... than patrol cars with A/C's. L.A.P.D. is in DIRE need of serious purges are reform. That $2 million, needs to come out of their yearly budget.

looks like the end of the movie, "road warrior". never mind no orange county paper will even print this story.

 
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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.
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