By MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — The reward offered for a gunman wanted in the shooting of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies last week has nearly tripled following donations, officials said.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors had initially authorized a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman who shot the deputies multiple times in their parked patrol SUV Saturday night in what officials described as an ambush-style attack.
On Wednesday, the reward had grown to $675,000 according to the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, which said it made a $75,000 contribution. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority had also said it would add $25,000 to the reward.
The shooting occurred outside a Metro train station in Compton, Los Angeles, ABC station KABC-TV reported. Two private donors also added $75,000 to the reward, the station said.
On Wednesday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that one of the deputies — a 24-year-old officer who suffered gunshot wounds to his forehead, arms and a hand — had been released from the hospital.
“He has a long road ahead for recovery. But he’s not alone. We, as a community, are in this together,” Villanueva said in a statement posted to social media.
Speaking with Byron Pitts on ABC’s Nightline Wednesday night, Villanueva clarified that the deputy had been released from the intensive care unit and is close to being released from the hospital. The deputy will need additional surgeries on his arm, Villanueva said.
His partner, who was shot in the jaw and arms, remained in the intensive care unit as of Wednesday night, Villanueva said on Nightline.
Villanueva, who called the shooting a “cowardly act,” said he swore both deputies in as members of the sheriff’s department 14 months ago. He has not identified the deputies by name.
The shooting unfolded around 7 p.m. local time on Saturday, as the sheriff’s deputies sat in their marked patrol car near the Martin Luther King Jr. Transit Center, authorities said. Surveillance video released by the sheriff’s department showed an individual dressed in black shorts, a dark jacket and wielding a pistol in his hand walk up to the patrol vehicle and open fire without warning through the passenger-side window.
The shooter, who authorities said is believed to be Black and 28 to 30 years old, ran away to a black four-door sedan and sped away. As the gunman fled, the surveillance video showed the patrol vehicle’s passenger-side door open and one of the wounded deputies, who authorities described as a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy, stumble out.
Villanueva told ABC News earlier this week that despite being shot four or five times, the female deputy walked around the patrol vehicle to help her partner.
“She goes around the car, applies a tourniquet to him to stop the bleeding. She gets on the radio and she’s calling for help and she’s having a hard time because she can’t speak very well,” Villanueva said.
As the search for the gunman continued, Villanueva said Monday that he has sheriff’s deputies on heightened alert for a repeat attack.
“This is going to cause us to be a lot more concerned about when we approach vehicles when we’re out there on the streets,” Villanueva said. “We have everybody paired up in two-man vehicles now. So, we’re going to have to be watching out for each other’s backs out there on the streets.”
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