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2 Lake View Terrace schools locked down in shooting manhunt

January 4, 2012 |  6:16 pm

Parole_agent_shooting6

Two schools in Lake View Terrace were locked down Wednesday evening as law enforcement authorities tightened their dragnet for a parolee suspected of shooting and seriously wounding a parole agent.

The shooting, which occurred about 1:30 p.m., shut down a stretch of the busy 210 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley, creating a traffic nightmare for commuters during the evening rush hour.

At an evening news conference, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said authorities have identified where the suspect is holed up. He declined to specify the area, citing the ongoing manhunt.

"We have enough information to know where he's at," Hernandez told reporters.

He suggested that sheriff's SWAT team members may wait until nightfall before they attempt to apprehend the suspect. "The cover of darkness protects" officers by concealing their movements, Hernandez said.

Multiple law enforcement officials who spoke to The Times identified the suspect as Steven Hoff, 43. Hoff has convictions for weapons possession and terrorist threats, according to court records and law enforcement officials.

Hoff was released from state prison in January 2011 and placed on parole, according to law enforcement officials. They said Hoff's parole was suspended in July, which typically means he broke contact with his parole officer.

Hernandez said that authorities believe the shooter may have used a high-powered weapon, possibly a rifle.

Parole agents were searching for a man suspected of parole violations when they were fired at while near the front door of a residence, according to the law enforcement officials who asked not be named because the manhunt was ongoing.

Hernandez said Brainard Elementary School and Delphi Academy of Los Angeles, both on Brainard Avenue, were locked down. He said 166 students and staff members were at Delphi, and that eight staff members were at Brainard because students were on vacation.

"We are in the process of developing a plan to evacuate those kids and staff members," Hernandez said.

Once the children and adults are evacuated, he said, they would be taken to a Sizzler restaurant on Sunland Boulevard east of the 210 Freeway.

It was unclear when authorities would reopen the 210, which was closed between the 118 Freeway and Sunland Boulevard. The section of the busy east-west corridor is traversed by about 108,000 vehicles daily, according to the California Department of Transportation.

ALSO:

Parole agent shot; 210 Freeway closed amid standoff

Arson suspect Harry Burkhart charged in L.A.-area fires

Former drug kingpin pleads guilty to racketeering, conspiracy

-- Andrew Blankstein (twitter.com/anblanx) and Robert J. Lopez (twitter.com/LAJourno)

Photo: The scene near where a parole agent was shot in Lake View Terrace.

Credit: KTLA-TV Channel 5

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