An off-duty Los Angeles police officer shot at a burglary suspect who flashed a gun after trying to break into the officer’s car early Wednesday, a department spokesperson said.
The officer, whose name has not been released, was inside his Downey home getting ready for work about 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday when he saw a man in a mask breaking into his car parked in the driveway, according to LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz.
When the officer ran outside, the man jumped into a waiting car and took off, Muniz said. As he rode away, the suspect pointed a gun in the officer’s direction and the officer fired a single round at the fleeing vehicle, she said. It was not immediately clear whether the suspect or anyone else in the vehicle was struck by the officer’s bullet. Muniz said the officer was not injured.
The officer’s name is expected to be released online after an initial department briefing, which usually occurs within 72 hours of a shooting incident.
The Police Department’s account of the encounter could not be independently verified.
The department’s Force Investigation Division, known as FID, investigates any time an officer discharges their weapon, on duty or off. Such reviews can take up to a year, and the findings will be turned over to LAPD Chief Michel Moore and the civilian-run Police Commission for a final determination about whether the officer’s use of force and tactics were within policy.
In most cases, the department releases video from police body-worn cameras or security cameras within 45 days of an incident, although it’s unclear whether any video footage exists of this off-duty incident.
According to a Times database of police shootings, the incident was the 30th LAPD shooting of the year, 12 of which have been fatal. At this time in 2022, LAPD officers had also opened fire 30 times.