"I've heard of a lot of things stopping rounds, but something that small is nothing short of a miracle," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Rosson after a cell phone charger deflected a bullet in a deputy-involved shooting. Adrian Arambulo reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013.
A coroner's official today identified a man killed a gunbattle in Inglewood that wounded two sheriff's deputies, including one who avoided more serious injury thanks to a cellphone charger in her pocket.
The suspect fatally shot by deputies was Quentin Hicks, 49, of Long Beach, said coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter.
The shooting occurred just after midnight Tuesday in the 3900 block of Century Boulevard, across from Hollywood Park near Prairie Avenue, after two deputies pulled over a vehicle with two men and a woman inside, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Diane Hecht.
"As soon as the vehicle stopped, the man in the front passenger seat got out ... and approached the deputies," Hecht said. "Shortly thereafter the suspect began fighting with them."
The suspect allegedly reached for a gun that was in his waistband, sheriff's Lt. Mike Rosson said.
"The male deputy, for lack of a better term, bear-hugged the suspect, pinning his arms," Rosson said.
Somehow, the suspect managed to break free, Rosson said.
The man pulled a semiautomatic handgun and fired at one deputy, striking her in the right thigh, and that deputy and her male partner returned fire, Hecht said.
During the exchange, the other deputy was struck in the left hand, she said.
The suspect was hit by one of the deputies' rounds and died after being taken to a hospital, Hecht said.
Both deputies were treated at a hospital and released, she said.
The bullet that struck the female deputy was deflected by a cellphone charger she had in her pocket, Hecht said.
"That something as small as a cellphone charger (deflected the round) is nothing short of a miracle," Rosson added.
The other two people in the vehicle were detained, officials said.
A handgun was recovered at the scene, according to the sheriff's department.