Police officer killed while responding to traffic accident
WHITTIER, Calif. — A California police officer was killed and another wounded in a shooting Monday while they were trying to help a man who had been in a traffic accident in Whittier, officials said. The two city police officers had responded to a report of a traffic accident and approached the vehicle when they were shot, said Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Police returned fire, wounding the suspect. His name was not released, and his condition was not immediately available. The slain officer’s name was not released.
The wounded officer was in stable condition, said Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“It’s extremely tragic,’’ Corina said. “You just never know when officers respond to a call what they are going to run into.’’
Corina said police had not yet identified the suspect but believe he is a gang member who the officers did not know. Investigators did not know why the suspect opened fire. “We’re still looking into that,’’ Corina said. “We believe the car he was in has come back as a stolen car, so that I’m sure is one of the reasons.’’
The other people involved in the accident were not injured. The Whittier Police Department has about 125 sworn officers who police Whittier and Santa Fe Springs in southeastern Los Angeles County.