LAPD detective wounded in shooting; 14-year-old suspect in custody

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A Los Angeles detective was shot and wounded on his way to work near the LAPD's Newton station in South L.A. early Thursday, officials said.

Hours later, a 14-year-old boy was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, they said.

The circumstances that led to the shooting, which occurred shortly after 5 a.m., were not immediately clear, LAPD Capt. Stacy Spell said. The detective was grazed in the head with the bullet while driving along Central Avenue near 28th Street, police said.

The unidentified detective, a 20-year veteran who investigates juvenile crimes, told investigators that he heard glass shattering on his truck and felt "a sharp pain to back of his head," said Assistant Chief Rob Marino.

He then drove to a nearby fire station, where he was briefly treated before being rushed to a hospital, Marino said.

“I am happy to report he is in stable condition," Marino said. "He will be fine."

The Los Angeles Police Department said the detective was to be released from the hospital later Thursday.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a tweet that he had spoken to the injured detective by phone and was grateful he would survive what Moore called an "unprovoked attack."

Images from outside the police station showed a pickup truck with its front wheels on the sidewalk and damage to its windows.

Robbery-Homicide Division Capt. Jonathan Tippet said the 14-year-old boy in custody was the lone suspect in the shooting. Marino said the boy was apprehended a few blocks away, at East 29th Street and Naomi Avenue, in possession of a handgun.

Moore told The Times that if the shot had been just "a few degrees" in a different direction, "it could have been much, much worse."

Speaking at a separate news conference Thursday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the detective was in good spirits.

Moore said that it was "way too soon" to know whether the detective, who was in plainclothes, was specifically targeted, but that possibility was being investigated, given his proximity to the Newton police station.

Moore lamented the increase of gunfire in South L.A. and across the city this year. While the pace of shootings since last month is slightly down from the same period last year, "violence is still way too high," Moore said.

"We've got to change this," he said Thursday morning, after earlier tweeting, "Too many guns in too many hands."

Through Sept. 25, shootings in Los Angeles were up nearly 29% over the same period last year, and nearly 44% over 2019, according to department data.

Times staff writer Julia Wick contributed to this report.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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