Two Los Angeles county sheriff’s deputies are fighting for their lives after being shot on Saturday in an ambush attack while sitting in their patrol car, officials say.
A 24-year-old male deputy and a 31-year-old female deputy were shot in the head and had multiple gunshot wounds. They are in critical condition and have undergone surgery.
President Donald Trump later shared a video of the shooting.
“Animals that must be hit hard!” the president wrote about the shooter and others who have committed similar acts of violence.
Activists on Saturday night blocked the entrance to St. Francis Medical Center, the hospital where the two deputies were treated, and yelled, with one of the activists yelling, “we hope they die.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department issued a dispersal warning before clearing the ambulance ramps. The department wrote on Twitter that “people’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through.”
Videos posted on social media show a small group of activists yelling “oink, oink” and “[expletive] the police” outside the hospital. One protester yelled, “We hope that [expletive] dies.” Another yelled, “Y’all gonna die one by one.”
None of the videos show that any ambulances were prevented from entering or leaving the hospital.
Before backup arrived, several police officers faced the protesters on the ambulance ramps as a helicopter circled overhead.
After the small crowd refuse to disperse, one male protester who refused to follow orders was arrested after a struggle. A female protester refused repeated orders to stay back as the officers struggled with the male. She was arrested as well.
The woman was later identified as a member of the press, according to the sheriff’s office.
“The female adult, who was later identified as a member of the press, did not identify herself as press and later admitted she did not have proper press credentials on her person,” the office said on Twitter.
The sheriff’s department video shows a male approaching the car and firing several shots through the passenger-side window.
“The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation,” the sheriff’s department said in a Twitter post that included video showing a person open fire through the passenger-side window of the patrol car.
The incident happened around 7 p.m. a short distance from the Compton sheriff’s station. The suspect is still at large.
Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, who is the chair of public safety for California state, told a press conference, “This was an unprovoked, cowardly act. The individual will be caught and justice will prevail. Our society must not tolerate such acts of violence.
“Tonight, we must as a community must condemn the actions of the perpetrators, but most importantly, we must all come together, pray together for these officers because they are heroes,” he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.