Suspects in East L.A. Shooting That Left 2 Deputies Wounded ID’d as Gang Members

Authorities on Thursday said the three suspects in an East Los Angeles shooting that left one of them dead and two deputies wounded were known gang members in the area.

On Wednesday evening, officers responded to a call about an assault with a deadly weapon in the area of Bonnie Beach Place and Sixth Street, L.A. Sheriff's Department Lt. Scott Soglund  said at a news conference the next day.

He said authorities had been alerted about three men in a black BMW approaching a group asking what gang they were from.

Responding deputies located the vehicle and followed it toward Salazar Park, according to the Sheriff's Department.

At some point, the driver got out of the vehicle and started shooting at the deputies, Soglund said.

The officers returned fire and struck the driver and one of the two other suspects, the lieutenant said. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, Soglund added.

Two officers were hit in the gunfire, according to the Sheriff's Department.

One deputy who was hit in the upper chest was released from the hospital on Thursday, while the other, who was shot in the upper jaw, remained in treatment, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said.

The sheriff said they were both "doing well."

The Sheriff's Department identified the shooter who died as 39-year-old Rene Herrera.

McDonnell said 18-year-old Fernando Cruz, who was also struck in the gunfire, was taken to the hospital where he remained in critical condition.

The third suspect, 18-year-old Hector Martinez, ran from the scene during the confrontation and was soon taken into custody without incident, McDonnell said. Officials booked him into jail on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer.

The Sheriff's Department, which has not provided the spelling of the suspects' names, described all three as documented gang members.

The agency has not identified the two deputies hurt but said both had over 10 years of experience on the job.