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'Been shot in the head': Two deputies struggle to survive after Calif. attack

By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES - A thick layer of blood covered her tan shirt, part of her Los Angeles County sheriff's uniform. She was bleeding from her face.

Minutes before, she and her partner working transit security were sitting in their patrol car at the Compton Metro station when a gunman approached and opened fire. A bullet went through the 31-year-old deputy's mouth, and she was hit in the arms. Her male partner, 24, was more badly wounded, shot in the head as well as the arm and shoulder, according to a surveillance camera video of the attack and interviews.

But the deputy, the mother of a 6-year-old boy, managed to get out of the cruiser and help her partner hide behind a concrete pillar for safety, not knowing if the gunman was still in the area.

She then applied a tourniquet to her partner's arm, which was bleeding profusely.

The video shows her partner collapsing to the ground, but she remained standing, looking out for the man who shot them.

"These are some tough deputies," said L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva.

 

Moments after the shooting Saturday at sundown, the female deputy called for help, her mouth so wounded her words came out garbled.

"998 Compton Pax," she said, using the code for a deputy-involved shooting. "Compton Pax, deputies down."

A second voice, the male deputy, is heard on the radio call: "Been shot in the head."

Both deputies underwent surgery Saturday night and Sunday morning. They are expected to recover but will probably require additional surgeries, sheriff's officials said. Their names have not been released.

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