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One Arrested in Ambush Attack on Two LAPD Officers in South Los Angeles; Second Gunman Sought

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Los Angeles police called off an intense eight-hour manhunt Monday morning that began after two officers were ambushed in an "unprovoked attack" in the Vermont-Slauson neighborhood of South L.A. the previous night.

A massive manhunt was underway in South LA in the early morning hours of Dec. 29, 2014, after two officers were fired upon the previous night. (Credit: KTLA)

A massive manhunt was underway in South LA in the early morning hours of Dec. 29, 2014, after two officers were fired upon the previous night. (Credit: KTLA)

The officers from the LAPD's 77th Division were responding to an unrelated radio call Sunday around 9:30 p.m. when two men opened fire on their patrol car at 62nd and Hoover streets (map), according to Los Angeles Police Department Detective Meghan Aguilar.

Several rounds were shot in the direction of the officers, LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza said.

“This was a completely unprovoked attack,” she added.

One of the officers returned fire toward the alleged gunmen. Neither the officers nor the gunmen were struck, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a Monday afternoon news conference.

"The officers observed muzzle flashes and heard gunshots coming from two male pedestrians," Beck said. "The officers believed that they were the object of an attack and returned fire."

Investigators on Dec. 29, 2014, recovered a rifle found in the 6200 block of South Hoover Street in South Los Angeles near the location where two LAPD officers were shot at. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Investigators on Dec. 29, 2014, recovered a rifle found in the 6200 block of South Hoover Street in South Los Angeles near the location where two LAPD officers were shot at. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Afterward, a rifle, a pistol and multiple shell casings were found on scene, Beck said.

One man who was taken into custody after a search was initially described only as a "person of interest," but Beck later said the man was "suspect."

He was identified as 18-year-old Christopher Taylor, according to a news release from the LAPD Monday evening.

Taylor was arrested on suspicion of shooting at an occupied vehicle, the release stated.

The search for a second gunman was continuing, Beck said.

In the wake of the shooting, LAPD went on tactical alert and initiated a massive manhunt for the second shooter.

At least 60 law enforcement personnel from LAPD and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department searched a six-block area that encompassed Hoover, Vermont Avenue, Gage Avenue and 60th Street.

SWAT officers and K-9 units were also utilized in the manhunt, which was conducted on the ground and by air in the overnight hours.

The manhunt was eventually called off shortly before 5:30 a.m. without an arrest.

"Our teams ... did a very thorough and meticulous search and they were unable to locate that suspect," Aguilar said.

A police helicopter was flying overhead South Los Angeles on Dec. 29, 2014, during a manhunt. (Credit: KTLA)

A police helicopter was flying overhead South Los Angeles on Dec. 29, 2014, during a manhunt. (Credit: KTLA)

Investigators did not have a name or description of the second man, but Aguilar said they were checking out new leads.

Residents in the area of Hoover and 52nd streets had been urged to stay indoors while the search was underway, according to a Facebook post from the LAPD's 77th Street community police station.

Sunday night's shooting occurred more than a week after two New York City police officers were fatally shot while they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn.

NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu had been "assassinated," according to New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton.

The gunman, who was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, had posted threats against police to social media prior to the incident, authorities said.

Both the New York and L.A. shootings came amid increased antipolice sentiment and protests in the wake of high-profile deaths of African-Americans Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of officers. The August LAPD shooting of Ezell Ford, whose autopsy report was released Monday, was also heightening tension.

LAPD officers were in "heightened awareness mode," Carranza said.

An LAPD mobile command post was set up after two officers were fired upon in South L.A. on Dec. 28, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

An LAPD mobile command post was set up after two officers were fired upon in South L.A. on Dec. 28, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

"The officers know to be aware of the environment and what is taking place nationwide," she said.

Carranza added that officers were being deployed in two-person cars, and that the stations were taking precautionary measures.

"You will not see a Los Angeles police officer working alone," she said.

A motive for the L.A. shooting was not known.

Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area was asked to call 911.

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