Off-duty deputy shoots man in confrontation outside Whittier Courthouse

Local news
The Los Angeles County courthouse in Whittier is seen in a Google Maps Street View image.

The Los Angeles County courthouse in Whittier is seen in a Google Maps Street View image.

An off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a man after confronting him in a parking structure outside the Whittier Courthouse Wednesday, officials said.

The deputy was in plainclothes and walking to his vehicle shortly after 4 p.m. when he spotted two men looking into cars, including his own, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Department.  

The deputy asked the men what they were doing in the parking structure, and one of them began moving toward the deputy, the sheriff’s release states.

The department says the deputy identified himself as a law enforcement official and told the man to stop.

At some point, the man allegedly reached for his waistband. The deputy thought the man was going to grab a weapon and responded by opening fire, officials said.

It’s unclear how many shots were fired, or how many bullets struck the man. Authorities say he was wounded in his upper torso.

He was hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday night, officials said.

The wounded man is described as being white and around 20 years old.

A knife that investigators believe belongs to him was recovered at the scene, deputies said.

The Sheriff’s Department said it is seeking the second man as a suspect, but they did not say what he is suspected of.

No further details were available Wednesday night.

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