ARTESIA, Calif. (AP) A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed Saturday after a bullet passed through an opening in his protective vest, authorities said. Deputy David Powell, 42, died at 11:54 a.m., about 90 minutes after he was hit while investigating reported gunshots.
“There’s no easy way to describe the death of a deputy sheriff other than to say we’re in mourning, ” Sheriff Lee Baca said.
One suspect was in custody. Deputies had surrounded a second person holed up in a shed behind the home where the shooting occurred. Neither person was identified.
Powell and other deputies went to the house in suburban Artesia about 10:30 a.m. after receiving reports of gunfire. As they drove up, they saw a man dart inside.
They heard screaming and then spied the man holding a woman hostage, sheriff’s Capt. Ray Leyva said. Powell tried to kick in the front door but failed on his first try, Leyva said.
As Powell prepared to try again, someone inside fired two shots from a handgun. One pierced Powell’s right arm, passed through an opening in his bulletproof vest and struck him in the chest.
“His partner fired once into the house, then grabbed Dave and dragged him from the house,” Leyva said.
He drove Powell a block away, where paramedics began treating him. He was then taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood and was pronounced dead.
After the shooting, the woman ran from the house unharmed, Leyva said.
Deputies had one man in custody but were unsure if he was the shooter. They surrounded a second person in the shed. Special weapons, helicopter and canine units were assisting.
Powell is survived by his wife Emma, parents, a twin brother, four daughters and seven grandchildren.
Artesia is 25 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.