A Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy has been credited with saving her partner’s life after she was shot in the face over the weekend, officials said.
“There’s no other way to put it, they’re amazing,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told CNN on Monday evening. Her partner was also shot in the head in what has been described as an ambush attack in Compton.
Garcetti said both deputies were shot several times by an unknown assailant. They are both in critical yet stable condition at a nearby hospital, as Sheriff Alex Villanueva told news outlets they underwent surgery.
“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,” Villanueva said.
Video footage from the incident appears to show a male approaching the officers, who were sitting in their vehicle, before opening fire and running away. But more footage surfaced on Monday, appearing to show the female deputy bleeding from the face taking cover behind a pillar and rendering aid to her partner.
“These are two brave individuals who put their lives on the line,” Garcetti said, adding that the female deputy was identified as a 31-year-old mother. The other was identified as a 24-year-old male.
The deputies were shot while sitting in their patrol car at a Metro rail station, the sheriff said. Villanueva expressed frustration during his Saturday night briefing over anti-police sentiment as he urged people to pray for the deputies.
Both Garcetti and Villanueva blasted apparent Black Lives Matter protesters who shouted threats at deputies and officers while the two were being treated at the hospital over the weekend. At one point, the department said the protesters tried to block entry.
“Unacceptable behavior. The hospital should be a sanctuary, we should leave hospitals alone,” Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez with the Churches in Action group told TV station KABC.
The video sparked a reaction from President Donald Trump who responded on Twitter, “Animals that must be hit hard!”
“This cold-blooded shooting is unconscionable and the perpetrator must be brought to justice,” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also wrote over the weekend. “Violence of any kind is wrong; those who commit it should be caught and punished.”