Long Beach Police Department SWAT and K-9 units were present at the scene at Seventh and Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. Wednesday night. Photos by Dennis Dean.
UPDATE | A carjacking suspect who assaulted a Long Beach police officer Wednesday night before allegedly stealing another car and leading cops in a chase that ended with an officer-involved shooting has been identified.
The suspect was 27-year-old Damian Lopez-Sauzo of Long Beach, a documented gang member on active parole for drug-related charges, authorities announced this afternoon.
Lopez-Sauzo was booked for attempted murder of an officer, assault with a deadly weapon against an officer, resisting arrest, carjacking, felon in possession of a firearm, evading and parole violation.
He is being held at Los Angeles County Jail without bail.
Authorities said the mayhem unfolded at 10:05PM when an officer responded to 10th Street and Stanley Avenue to investigate a call about a suspicious person and vehicle. While the suspect was detained, the officer ran the vehicle’s license plate and confirmed it was in fact reported stolen in Long Beach. When the officer attempted to take the suspect into custody, he resisted and violently assaulted the officer, according to a release from the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
“During the assault, the suspect disarmed the officer of his duty weapon and fled the location on foot,” according to the statement.
Several officers responded to provide emergency assistance to the officer who sustained significant injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment and later released. A description of the suspect was also broadcast over the police radio.
Then, at about 10:45PM, a woman called 9-1-1 to report her vehicle was stolen at 16th Street and Stanton Place. A description of the carjacking suspect matched that of the suspect who assaulted the officer, according to officials.
With that information, officers located the stolen vehicle near 16th Street and Alamitos Avenue and initiated a pursuit that ended in front of a residence near 7th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and officers fired their weapons at the suspect.
Officers then reassessed the situation and ordered the suspect to exit the vehicle but the suspect instead barricaded himself inside, according to the release. SWAT officers then responded to the scene and attempted to negotiate the suspect and persuade him to surrender. When he failed to comply, rubber baton rounds were deployed.
A K-9 was also deployed and when it made contact with the suspect, he was taken into custody by SWAT.
While not struck by gunfire, the suspect did sustain injuries from the K-9 and was transported to a local hospital where he was later cleared for booking.
The officer’s firearm was found inside the stolen vehicle.
Authorities said the shooting will be reviewed by LBPD, investigated by the Homicide Detail and independently investigated by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Long Beach homicide Detectives at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through “LA Crime Stoppers” by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
PREVIOUSLY: UPDATE: Police Investigating Multiple Crime Scenes in Last Night’s Carjacking, Officer-Involved Shooting
11/9/17 at 1:00PM | Long Beach authorities today are still working through the details of last night’s carjacking-turned-officer-involved shooting that left an officer and the suspect injured.
What is known so far is that at about 10:00PM an officer responded to 10th Street and Stanley Avenue to investigate a suspicious person call, according to Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) spokeswoman Nancy Pratt.
At the scene, the officer came into contact with a man, later identified only as a 27-year-old Long Beach resident, who was detained by the officer as he investigated a possible stolen vehicle.
“During the incident, the officer was assaulted, there was a struggle, and the suspect was able to take the officer’s firearm,” she said.
The suspect then fled on foot and allegedly stole a vehicle several blocks away. According to a Reddit user from Long Beach who was listening to the scene develop on a police scanner, the carjacking took place near 10th Street and Orange Avenue.
Police found the vehicle and initiated a pursuit that ended near Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and 7th Street, Pratt said.
The suspect apparently drove into a gas station and barricaded himself inside the stolen vehicle, prompting authorities to activate SWAT officers.
At some point, an officer-involved shooting occurred. Pratt told the Los Angeles Times that officers shot at the man with rubber baton rounds and their service weapons, but he was only struck by the rubber projectiles.
A K-9 dog was then deployed and the suspect was taken into custody before he was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. Pratt said he has been medically cleared from the hospital and was being booked as of Thursday morning.
The officer assaulted by the suspect sustained various injuries over his body but none were life threatening, she said.
Pratt said authorities are unable to verify at this time news reports regarding the suspect shooting at officers. The same Reddit user said officers on scene found hollow tip casings.
“We are still investigating the particulars relating to this incident,” Pratt told the Post. “There is a lot that has yet to be determined, as we have three separate crime scenes to work through.”
Map of the three apparent crime scenes in last night’s series of incidents. Created with mapcustomizer.com.
PREVIOUSLY: Suspect Who Shot at Police Taken into Custody After Standoff with Officers, SWAT
11/8/17 at 11:42PM | A carjacking suspect who reportedly shot at Long Beach police officers was taken into custody late Wednesday night after a standoff with law enforcement.
The man allegedly shot at the officers, then carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint, leading police on a short chase that ended just before 11:00PM in the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Seventh Street.
Seventh Street between Olive and Alamitos was closed to traffic, as the suspect had apparently driven the stolen car into a gas station, where he was blocked in by police, and refused to exit the vehicle.
Witnesses at the scene said they heard the chase and gunshots from inside their homes near the intersection.
The suspect reportedly refused to exit the vehicle until around 11:45PM, when authorities used a police dog to take the suspect into custody.
Long Beach Police Department SWAT officers were also present and active at the scene.
A Long Beach police officer who was shot at is reportedly uninjured, but has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation. No other injuries have been reported at this time.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
A carjacking suspect who reportedly shot at Long Beach police officers was taken into custody late Wednesday night after a standoff with law enforcement. Read more: lbpo.st/2hX1yLd
Posted by Long Beach Post on Thursday, November 9, 2017
Video by Dennis Dean.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Free news isn’t cheap.
We believe that everyone should have access to important local news, for free.
However, it costs money to keep a local news organization like this one—independently owned and operated here in Long Beach, without the backing of any national corporation—alive.
If independent local news is important to you, please consider supporting us with a monthly or one-time contribution. Read more.