Police and elected officials have urged the community to band together to condemn the attack, which comes at a difficult time for law enforcement across the country and Los Angeles. Police authorities, including the local sheriff's department, faced increasing anger and demonstrations over lethal violence against people of color, and the sheriff's department condemned anti-police protesters who gathered at the hospital where MPs were being treated.
However, both local and national politicians were quick to express their support for the officials as both the FBI and the Justice Department offered their resources. In an early morning tweet, Trump, who advocated law and order, called for a forceful response.
"Animals that have to be hit hard!" he said. Later on Sunday morning, Trump tweeted about the officials: "If they die, quick death penalty for the killer. This is the only way to stop it! "
Biden also condemned the shooting.
"This cold-blooded shootout is incomprehensible and the perpetrator must be brought to justice," tweeted the former Vice President on Sunday morning. “Violence of any kind is wrong; those who do it should be caught and punished. Jill and I keep honorable Members and their families in our hearts and pray for a full recovery. "
The injured MPs, a 31-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, were both sworn into office 14 months ago, officials said at a press conference. According to the authorities, both suffered several gunshot wounds and were operated on on Saturday evening.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva called the shooting a "cowardly act" and repeated the words of Californian MP Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) earlier at the press conference. Jones-Sawyer called the MPs "heroes," and Villanueva said the attack was a reminder of the hard and dangerous work of law enforcement agencies.
"If I see someone just walk up to him and shoot him, that's – it makes me angry," said Villanueva. "It scares me at the same time."
The MPs, part of a transport detail, were shot around 7 p.m. Saturday and, according to the sheriff's department, could ask for help by radio. The suspect fled on foot. Sheriff's Captain Kent Wegener said that despite the video recording of the incident, authorities only have a "very, very general description of the suspect" provided by one of the wounded MPs: suspicious details captured through a "fish-eye lens," will "go" fool. "
More than a dozen murder detectives were there on Saturday night along with other specialists and prosecutors. Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec called the shooting "evil in its purest form" and tweeted that Attorney General William P. Barr "is monitoring the situation" and that his department "will use all federal tools available to bring those responsible to justice." . " ”
The sheriff's department said Sunday that no updates to the investigation were available.
Some leaders, who reacted with horror to the shooting, noted the intense scrutiny of law enforcement agencies as they expressed their support.
"Of course there is an important conversation going on about policing in this country, but these are people who are risking their lives for us and we will find justice for them," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D). on Sunday CNN.
Police and protesters' tactics came under scrutiny after demonstrations outside St. Francis Medical Center treating MPs.
In tweets, the sheriff's department described protesters blocking "the entrance and exit" of the hospital emergency room, urging people not to obstruct access, saying that lives were at stake. It also announced the arrest of two people: a male protester who "refused to comply" following a dissemination warrant and a woman who claimed "not to identify herself as a press".
Josie Huang, a reporter for the new local organizations KPCC and LAist, was arrested and charged with disability, according to LAist. Journalists quickly condemned the arrest as a violation of press rights and called for the charges to be lifted. According to LAist, Huang was caught on video identifying herself as a reporter while wearing a media ID on a lanyard.
Huang tweeted Sunday morning that she had left prison, seen the sheriff's department tweets, and "had thoughts and videos to share soon after a little break."