Los Angeles deputy saved partner's life after Compton shooting while bleeding from a wound to her face

One of the two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies attacked in an ambush saved the life of the other by applying a tourniquet while bleeding from a gunshot wound to her face. CNN's Sara Sidner reports.

Posted: Sep 16, 2020 3:31 PM
Updated: Sep 16, 2020 3:31 PM

One of two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies attacked Saturday saved the life of the other by applying a tourniquet while bleeding from a gunshot wound to her face.

"There's no other way to put it: They're amazing," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, describing the deputies' bravery.

A gunman in Compton, California, shot both deputies four or five times Saturday night, Garcetti said. By an "absolute miracle," it appears they will survive, the mayor said.

The deputies were in intensive care Tuesday and in stable condition, Sheriff Alex Villanueva told CNN's Erin Burnett.

They still have a "long way to recovery and a lot of subsequent surgeries" after suffering injuries to their heads and arms, the sheriff added.

Footage that appears to be from surveillance cameras shows a deputy, whom Garcetti identified as a 31-year-old mother, taking cover behind a pillar, rendering aid to her 24-year-old partner and calling for help. Both are bloodied.

"It's amazing that she had composure ... to get out of the car ... and a composure to put out the radio traffic, and it was very calm and collected, despite her injuries," Los Angeles County Undersheriff Tim Murakami told reporters Tuesday morning at a news briefing on an unrelated initiative.

Detectives have not yet identified a suspect, but thanks to donations from private donors a reward now stands at $275,000, Villanueva told CNN on Tuesday.

One of the deputies' colleagues, detective Keegan McInnis, set up a GoFundMe that had drawn hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations as of Tuesday afternoon. The $500,000 sought in the fundraiser will go directly to the wounded deputies, McInnis said.

How the attack unfolded

The shooting happened shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday at MLK Transit Center in Compton, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

The gunman walked toward the passenger side of the deputies' vehicle, raised a pistol and shot them, Capt. Kent Wegener said.

The sheriff's department tweeted surveillance video of the gunman opening fire and running away.

"This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement," Villanueva said. "It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time."

"There is no place in our society for the violence that we saw," Garcetti said. He described county deputies as guardians of one of the city's public transit lines.

Both deputies were sworn in 14 months ago, the sheriff said.

Trump, Biden and Schiff denounce the attack

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the shooting.

"When we find that person, we've got to get much faster with our courts, and we've got to get much tougher with our sentencing. We have to come out very, very strongly," Trump told supporters in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Biden called the shooting "absolutely unconscionable."

"Acts of lawlessness and violence directed against police officers are unacceptable, outrageous and entirely counterproductive to the pursuit of greater peace and justice in America -- as are the actions of those who cheer such attacks on," Biden said in a statement.

Democratic US Rep. Adam Schiff, whose district includes parts of Los Angeles County, offered his prayers to the deputies.

"Every day, law enforcement officers put themselves at risk to protect our community," Schiff tweeted. "I hope the perpetrator of this cowardly attack can be quickly brought to justice."

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