Hawthorne Officer Injured After Shootout at Public Storage Facility; Suspect Shot

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A Hawthorne police officer was injured Saturday afternoon after a shootout with a suspect at a storage facility.

Officers were called to the scene around 4:22 p.m. after receiving calls of an "angry" man refusing to leave a Public Storage facility in the 4800 block of West Rosecrans Avenue, according to the Hawthorne Police Department.

The man was armed with a semi-automatic handgun and an 18-inch machete, according to police. When officers arrived there was an exchange of gunfire as patrons inside the building ran for cover in an elevator.

One officer was shot in leg and a sergeant was injured during the incident, police said.

"Our first officer was shot in the leg at least one time. He has been transported to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, " said Lt. Gary Tomatani of the Hawthorne Police Department. "Our second subject is a sergeant. He was injured in the arm. At this time, we don't know if he was actually shot or if he was actually cut with the machete. The suspect himself was actually shot in the torso." 

Both officers suffered non-life threatening injuries and are expected to be okay. The man was transported to a local hospital and will survive his gunshot wound, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

LASD authorities told KTLA the shooter will likely be charged with several counts of attempted murder for his alleged actions against the police officers and possibly some bystanders.

Investigators do not yet know what motivated the shooting and are interviewing all people involved.

"We don't know what is going on in that person's mind. The subject is armed, not only with a machete but with a gun," said Tomatani. "There is an exchange of gunfire, obviously, since both the suspect and our personnel have been shot. And that just kind of makes everything more chaotic at the scene."

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

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