Folks, Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant Steven Owen, a 29-year veteran, was shot today while responding to a home burglary call in Lancaster. He died later at Antelope Valley Hospital. Owen, 53, is the first member of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department to be fatally shot in more than a decade. He leaves a wife, mother and adult children. Owen's wife is a sheriff's detective.
A second deputy was injured during the chaotic scene at an apartment building on West Avenue J-7 in the high desert city.
According to media reports, Owen and his partner answered the burglary call and when Owen checked the rear of the building., he was confronted and shot. While the second deputy ran toward the gunshots, the gunman jumped in the deputies' patrol car and tried to flee. After the second deputy opened fire and the patrol car crashed, the gunman fled on foot into an occupied nearby home.
A teenager inside the home texted for help and a SWAT team forced the gunman out. After he jumped a fence into another yard, the suspect was taken into custody.
Authorities say the suspected gunman is a 27-year-old parolee who lives in the Antelope Valley. He was armed, officials said.
A Los Angeles Times reporter went on a ride-along with Owen last year for a story on how relations between the sheriff's department and the community were improving in Lancaster and the surrounding area. At the time, Owen had been patrolling in Lancaster for 23 years.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell was in Hawaii on business and vacation. He tweeted later in the day:
The tragedy of Sgt Steve Owen making the ultimate sacrifice has a massive impact on LE family. We mourn & our hearts go out to his family pic.twitter.com/ULGCeq8woJ— Jim McDonnell (@LACoSheriff) October 6, 2016