"A male deputy and a female deputy were ambushed while they were in their patrol car," read a tweet from the sheriff's department. "Both suffered multiple gunshot wounds and are in critical condition. Both are currently undergoing surgery. The suspect is still at large."
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a press conference Saturday night that the Compton shooting was "cowardly" and that both MPs were being treated at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood.
Captain Kent Wegener said the shooting took place at 7 p.m. Wegener said the suspect approached behind the MPs' vehicle and walked down the passenger side. He pretended to walk past the car, raised a gun and shot both MPs several times, Wegener said.
The two officers – a 31-year-old mother and a 24-year-old – were taken to a local hospital and "are still fighting for their lives," LASD said. Both MPs were sworn in 14 months ago, Villanueva said.
"This is just a grim reminder that this is a dangerous job and that actions and words have consequences. Our job is not getting easier because people don't like law enforcement," said Villanueva. "It makes me angry, it scares me at the same time. There is no nice way to say it."
The Los Angeles FBI has offered resources and is "ready to help" in response to the attack, the agency tweeted. US MP Adam Schiff tweeted that he was praying for the two MPs.
"Every day police officers put themselves at risk to protect our community," was his tweet. "I hope the perpetrator of this cowardly attack can be brought to justice quickly."
Reporter arrested protester
A reporter and a protester were arrested on charges of defying arrest outside the hospital, the LASD tweeted.
MPs issued a dissemination warrant for "the illegal gathering of a group of protesters" blocking the entrance and exit of the hospital, but "one adult male protester refused to comply," a tweet said.
"A fight erupted during his arrest in which an adult woman ran up to MPs, ignoring repeated orders to stay behind while fighting the man and disrupted the arrest," a LASD tweet said.
"The adult woman, who was later identified as a member of the press, did not identify herself as the press and later admitted that she did not have proper press cards for herself," said a tweet.