The Los Angeles Unified School District officer accused of falsely reporting that he was shot near El Camino Real High School last month told investigators that he accidentally shot himself, according to a report.
The LA Times, citing sources close to the investigation, reported that LAUSD Officer Jeff Stenroos told investigators that he accidentally fired his gun.
The law-enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was open, said Stenroos had given several contradictory accounts of exactly what happened. Detectives, they said, are still trying to determine whether the shooting was an accident or in some way connected to his professional or personal life.
The newspaper reported that detectives continue to investigate the Jan. 19 case.
The shooting report from Stenroos triggered a manhunt that involved 350 officers and deputies, and a multi-school lockdown that affected thousands of students for about six hours.
Sources told the Times that on Thursday Stenroos told investigators his original story was a hoax. The sources said Stenroos seemed to avoid investigators when they tried to conduct follow-up interviews.
Stenroos, who has been with the school police department for eight years, was charged with filing a false police report after he told investigators he was shot by a suspect trying to break into cars by El Camino Real High School.
His fake report led to lockdowns at nine west San Fernando Valley schools. The cost of the lie has been calculated into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Why Stenoos did not tell the truth about the shooting remains a mystery -- at least to the general public -- because police investigators have repeatedly declined to release Stenroos' motive for filing the false report.