Sept. 13 (Reuters) — A gunman shot and critically wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies as they sat in their patrol car late on Saturday in an attack that was captured on video.
Footage of the incident released by the sheriff's department showed the suspect approaching the parked vehicle on foot in the city of Compton and firing with a handgun through the passenger side window before running away.
"The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation," the department said on Twitter.
Warning: The video below contains graphic content.
Update: The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation. pic.twitter.com/cBQjyKkoxJ— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) September 13, 2020
One male deputy and one female deputy sustained multiple gunshot wounds and were in critical condition undergoing surgery overnight, it said. The suspect remains at large.
"At this point we have a very, very generic description of a dark-skinned male and that came from one of the victims," Captain Kent Wegener told a news conference.
The footage of the attack was recorded by a security camera on a nearby metro station, police said.
President Donald Trump retweeted the video early on Sunday and wrote: "Animals that must be hit hard!"
Later, referring to the deputies, Trump tweeted: "If they die, fast trial death penalty for the killer. Only way to stop this!"
A few demonstrators gathered overnight outside St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood where the deputies were being treated, according to social media video and the sheriff's department.
"To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling "We hope they die" referring to 2 LA Sheriff's ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL," the department wrote on Twitter around midnight PDT.
To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling "We hope they die" referring to 2 LA Sheriff's ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL. People's lives are at stake when ambulances can't get through.— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) September 13, 2020
It said two people were later arrested — a man who "refused to comply & cooperate" and a reporter for NPR station KPCC, Josie Huang.
The department said the reporter did not identify herself as a member of the press, but Huang said she was wearing her press tags the entire time and shouting that she was a reporter.
"I'm a reporter," she said on a video she released on Twitter. "I'm with KPCC."
Later she shouted: "You guys are hurting me."
Huang said she was released from county jail on Sunday morning.
(Reporting by Gabriella Borter and Aishwarya Nair; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)