Los Angeles-area authorities worked Tuesday to apprehend a suspected armed carjacker in a standoff amid suspicions he could be connected to the shooting of two sheriff’s deputies over the weekend, according to media reports.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told several news outlets that the suspect is not linked to the ambush shooting of two transit deputies in Compton Saturday. However, KNBC-TV reported that multiple law enforcement sources said detectives are increasingly confident the suspect, who led authorities on a car chase Tuesday, is connected.
During the chase, the suspect reportedly jumped out of the vehicle and ran into a home in the Los Angeles suburb of Lynwood.
Authorities converged on the city, which borders Compton to the south, and evacuated an area during a search. Deputies wearing tactical gear and driving SWAT vehicles also responded.
The Sheriff’s Department warned residents to stay indoors. The area is just north of where the two deputies were shot while sitting in their marked patrol car Saturday evening. Both are recovering.
Despite reports of the suspect having links to the shooting, sheriff’s officials have not confirmed anything. Villanueva did not return emails from Fox News and department officials would only confirm authorities were searching for a carjacking suspect.
Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez told City News Service that the department could not confirm whether the suspect is connected to the attack on her fellow deputies.
“At this time, it’s just a carjacking suspect, but it’s really important that we apprehend him and ID him to see if there’s any nexus with the ambush,” she said.
The transit deputies — described only as a 24-year-old man and a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy — graduated from the academy 14 months ago.
They are recovering at a hospital after undergoing surgery. A reward of over $300,000 — a mix of county funds and private donations — is being offered for information on the suspected gunman.