DUARTE – A man who was shot and wounded by a parole officer Friday was trying to rob the ununiformed officer at knifepoint, authorities said.
The wounded suspect’s name was not released as he remained hospitalized in stable condition, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Mary Leef said in a written statement. He was expected to be booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, attempted robbery and violating parole.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officers were searching for a parole violator about 2:20 p.m. in the 1900 block of Huntington Drive when they believed they spotted him, Leef said.
A plain-clothed parole officer stood on a sidewalk in an attempt to confirm that the man was the parolee they were looking for, she said.
“While doing so, the suspect approached the officer, pulled a knife on him and demanded the officer’s cell phone,” Leef said.
“The parole officer identified himself at which time the suspect came at him with the knife,” according to the lieutenant. “In fear for his safety, the parole officer fired multiple times, striking the suspect several times in the upper torso.”
The parole officer was not hurt in the incident, and the knife was recovered from the scene, officials said.
The massive on-scene investigation that followed the shooting lasted more than 12 hours and kept residents of several nearby apartment buildings out of their homes overnight as the area remained cordoned off by authorities.
Robert Westmoreland, 69, said he was unable to return to his home until 4 a.m.
He said he left his apartment about 11 a.m. Friday, prior to the shooting.
When he returned at 3 p.m., police told him he could not enter the area because of the investigation. After waiting six hours, he elected to go stay with relatives in Pasadena.
At 4 a.m., Westmoreland said, deputies allowed him to park his car at a nearby bank and walk back to his home.
“It was inconvenient, but I understand the officers got to do what they got to do,” he said. “They’ve got a job to do.”
Traffic was shut down between Highland Avenue and Mt. Olive Drive following the shooting.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is spearheading the investigation into the shooting.