A 32-year-old man who authorities thought they were looking for was shot by West Covina Police Tuesday and an officer was hit by friendly fire, officials said.
The man was injured and underwent surgery and the officer's vest stopped the bullet. Both were taken to a hospital and police eventually found a man they were apparently looking for, police said.
The incident was reported about 9:45 a.m. in the 1500 block of Amar Road, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials, who are assisting in the investigation, said.
West Covina Police had received a call about a man who was acting suspiciously in the strip mall parking lot and appeared to be under the influence. The caller also told authorities that the man had tampered with his ankle bracelet.
Police encountered a man they thought matched the description of the suspect and the man tried to run away. He eventually turned back and allegedly charged them with his hand in his waistband and the officer-involved shooting occurred, officials said.
The man was struck several times in the legs and collapsed in the parking lot, officials said.
The officer was also hit, but the bullet struck his vest and he is expected to be OK. Sheriff's officials said that he was struck by a fellow officer's gunfire. The officer was treated for bruising and trauma to his chest, and was later released from the hospital.
No weapon was recovered at the scene, officials said.
Both the man that was shot and the man police were initially looking for are believed to be gang members, officials said.
Authorities surrounded the parking lot during the investigation and officials began letting residents return to their vehicles that were in the cordoned off area Tuesday afternoon.
Anyone with additional information about the incident can call 323-890-5500.