AZUSA — A police officer shot and wounded a man early Saturday after the man tried to grab the officer’s gun in a scuffle, authorities said.
Jesus Lopez, 19, of Azusa fled after being shot but was captured nearby following a three-hour manhunt, police and sheriff’s officials said.
He was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Pena.
Authorities did not release the identity of the police officer Saturday.
The shooting occurred just before 7 a.m. in the 800 block of West Foothill Boulevard after the officer tried to pull over a possibly stolen Toyota Camry Lopez was driving, Pena said.
Officials believe Lopez pulled to the side of the road, but then got out of the car and ran from the officer, who gave chase.
Shortly after, the officer caught up with Lopez and a struggle ensued, Pena said.
“There was a fight over the officer’s gun,” Pena said. “The officer got control of his weapon and shot the suspect once.”
After being wounded, Lopez continued fleeing and ran into an industrial area north of Foothill Boulevard, Azusa police Lt. Frank Chavez said.
Several surrounding law enforcement agencies and a SWAT team were called to help search for the suspect, Chavez said.
“(A sniper team) saw him try to make a break for it,” Chavez said, and authorities arrested Lopez without further incident.
He was immediately given medical treatment.
Lopez suffered a single gunshot wound to the buttocks, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.
He underwent surgery Saturday afternoon and was being housed in an intensive care unit, Chavez said.
The police officer was not injured, officials said.
Lopez was in custody at the hospital and was expected to be booked upon his release, Chavez said, however it was not clear Saturday what charges would be filed against him.
Prior to the shooting, Lopez was a suspect in a felony theft case, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Diane Hecht said.
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are assisting in the investigation, as is customary in officer-involved shootings involving Los Angeles County police agencies.
More than a dozen police and sheriff’s officials remained at the scene Saturday afternoon, and Chavez said the intensive investigation would likely continue well into the evening.
“These things go very slow,” he said. “We really have to go methodically.”
*PICTURED ABOVE: Police and sheriff’s investigators gathered at a “command post” near the scene of the shooting.