A Los Angeles police officer is lucky to be alive after an assailant walked into his police station, knocked him to the ground, pistol-whipped him with his own weapon, and then pulled the trigger repeatedly at point blank range.
Jose Cerpa Guzman, 29, was arrested for attempted murder of a police officer. He is being held in lieu of $2.23million bail, the Los Angeles Times reported.
He likely would have killed the officer, who has not been identified, if the gun did not have a safety mechanism that prevented it from firing.
The officer managed to escape with ‘bumps and bruises,’ according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The dramatic encounter was caught on surveillance footage from inside the Harbor Community police station in San Pedro on Saturday night.
A Los Angles Police Department desk officer was nearly killed on Saturday after an assailant walked into Harbor Community police station in San Pedro just after 10pm and attacked him, took his gun, and then pulled the trigger repeatedly. The gun did not fire, according to LAPD
The image above shows the assailant standing over the desk officer after he knocked him to the ground in the lobby of the police station
Police identified the assailant, who was wearing dark pants and a white shirt, as 29-year-old Jose Cerpa Guzman
The assailant is seen above pistol-whipping the desk officer as he lay on the ground in the police station
The video shows the assailant walking into the lobby of the police station just after 10pm on Saturday.
A desk officer on duty that night is seen approaching him near the front entrance.
Initially, the officer and the assailant, who is dressed in a white short-sleeve shirt and dark pants, appear to be engaged in a heated conversation.
The assailant then leaves through the front door only to re-enter the station a few seconds later.
He then starts shoving the police officer and throws a punch.
The assailant and the officer are seen above wrestling on the ground on Saturday night
During the course of their encounter, the assailant took the officer’s gun from his holster
He then aimed it at the officer’s chest, throat, and chin, according to LAPD investigators
The assailant keeps moving toward the officer and overpowers him.
He then knocks the officer to the ground after he connected on a blow to the head.
As the officer goes down, some gear from his equipment belt is seen strewn across the floor.
With the officer on his back and the assailant standing over him, the assailant grabs the cop’s 9mm Beretta handgun from the officer’s holster.
The officer then tries to grab the man’s arm in order to prevent him from shooting the gun.
As the two wrestle, the assailant manages to point the gun directly at the officer’s midsection from just a few inches away.
Moments later, the assailant gets his arm loose and begins to hit the officer in the face and head with the butt of the handgun at least four times.
The officer puts his hands up to protect himself from the blows. Eventually, he knocks the gun out of the assailant’s hands.
After the gun falls to the floor, the assailant grabs it again.
He then aims the gun at the officer, who is still on his back, at close range.
An LAPD watch commander emerges from the front desk and runs toward the assailant as he exits the station. The desk officer is seen bottom left on the ground
The watch commander appears to get into a shooting stance and aims her weapon at the fleeing assailant
She is then seen ducking out of the way – presumably because the assailant fired shots at her
The officer then tries to grab the assailant, but he manages to get away and move toward the door.
Moments later, an LAPD watch commander emerges from the front desk and sees her fellow officer on the ground in the lobby.
She then spots the assailant as he runs out while holding the officer’s gun.
The watch commander approaches the door, draws her weapon, and drops into a shooting stance. It is unclear from the video if she fires her weapon.
She is then seen taking cover, presumably because the assailant fired the officer’s weapon at her.
The LAPD says that the assailant, Guzman, shot at the watch commander three times. She fired her weapon once, the LAPD says.
Another police officer enters the lobby and has his gun drawn. The video ends there.
According to the Times, investigators believe that the assailant would have killed the desk officer because he pulled the trigger several times while aiming the handgun at his chest, stomach and chin.
The gun did not fire because of a decocking lever that was activated.
According to police, the assailant fled in a white truck. The watch commander reported on the radio that shots had been fired and the suspect fled.
‘We’ve got an officer down, conscious, breathing,’ one officer said over the radio.
Guzman was arrested a few blocks away from the police station by officers who had their guns drawn.
The officers wrestled with Guzman, who was later taken to hospital to be treated for injuries.
One officer reportedly suffered a broken hand during the struggle.
The assailant managed to get away as the desk officer remained on the ground
An LAPD watch commander (seen far right) emerges from behind the front desk as the desk officer is down on the ground (far left)
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the desk officer initially attacked inside the station suffered ‘bumps and bruises.’
He has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
‘I am grateful that the officer who was in this incident tonight, who was working the desk, came out to assist this individual to understand what his needs were, that he survived and that during this engagement that he did not lose his life,’ Moore said.
‘He did not suffer the injury that apparently this suspect meant to inflict.’
The LAPD has not stated what it believes to be Guzman’s motive for the attack.
Craig Lally, who heads the union that represents LAPD officers, compared the attack to the recent shooting ambush in Compton that targeted deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
‘It just shows you how dangerous this job is now,’ Lally said.
‘You don’t even have to be responding to a call now. You can just be sitting in a car in a uniform or sitting at a desk in a uniform and get attacked.’