An off-duty Los Angeles police officer is in stable condition Wednesday after being shot with his own service weapon during a “gun battle” with a suspect who allegedly stole the officer’s gun and bulletproof vest from his personal car parked in a Sherman Oaks apartment garage, Chief Michel Moore said.
The suspect was also injured during the exchange of gunfire and was taken into custody.
The ordeal occurred about 2:25 p.m. along the 5200 block of Vesper Avenue, police initially said in a tweet.
The unidentified officer was coming down from an apartment to a underground garage where his personal vehicle was parked, when he and another person he was with noticed a man seated in the officer’s vehicle wearing his bulletproof vest.
As the officer confronted the man about the vehicle burglary, Moore said an altercation turned into a “gun battle” between the two men.
The suspect used the officer’s primary duty weapon kept in the vehicle to shoot the officer, while the officer used his own backup weapon to defend himself, Moore said.
The “rolling altercation” continued through the garage and onto a breezeway, where the suspect fell to the ground after being shot in the shoulder, arm and leg, Moore said.
The suspect then took off the vest, and the officer was able to secure his firearm from the suspect.
The officer returned to where the other person was, but collapsed after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and thigh, Moore said.
When responding LAPD and Los Angeles fire units arrived, they found the suspect attempting to throw gun magazines over a fence and trying to get away, but he was taken into custody. The man was taken to a hospital in stable condition. He has not been identified.
The officer was also transported to a hospital where he was undergoing surgery.
“Obviously these are very traumatic injuries, and he is grateful to be alive, but he’s not out of the woods yet,” Moore said after speaking to the officer.
It’s unclear how the suspect was able to get into the secured garage, and no further details about the incident have been released.
Aerial and ground video showed a large police presence in the residential area after the shooting.