A Los Angeles police detective was shot and wounded near the LAPD’s Newton station in South L.A. early Thursday, officials said.
The circumstances that led to the shooting, which occurred shortly after 5 a.m. near South Central Avenue and East 34th Street, were not immediately clear, LAPD Capt. Stacy Spell said. The detective was shot while driving to work on Central Avenue near 28th Street, police said.
The detective, who was not identified, was able to get to a nearby fire station to seek help and then was rushed to a hospital, Assistant Chief Rob Marino said.
“I am happy to report he is in stable condition. … He will be fine,” Marino said.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a tweet that he had spoken to the injured officer by phone and was grateful that it appeared he would survive what the chief called an “unprovoked attack.”
The bullet grazed the side of the detective’s head, police said.
The detective, a 20-year veteran who works juvenile crimes, heard the glass shattering on his truck and “he feels a sharp pain to back of his head,” Marino said.
Images from outside the police station showed a pickup truck with its front wheels up on the sidewalk and damage to its windows.
Robbery Homicide Capt. Jonathan Tippet said a 14-year-old boy was in custody and is the lone suspect in the shooting.
The boy was apprehended a few blocks away, at East 29th Street and Naomi Avenue, in possession of a handgun, Marino said.
Moore told The Times that if the shot had been just “a few degrees” in a different direction, “it could have been much, much worse.”
Moore said that it was “way too soon” to know whether the detective, who was in plainclothes, was specifically targeted, but that possibility was being investigated, given his proximity to the Newton police station.
Moore lamented the increase of gunfire in South L.A. and across the city this year. While the pace of shootings since last month is slightly down from what it was during the same period last year, “violence is still way too high,” Moore said.
“We’ve got to change this,” he said Thursday morning, after earlier tweeting, “Too many guns in too many hands.”
Through Sept. 25, shootings in Los Angeles were up nearly 29% over the same period last year, and nearly 44% over 2019, according to department data.