Former LAUSD Officer Sentenced for Hoax Shooting

Jeff Stenroos' story set off an 8-square-mile, 10-hour manhunt in January that cost about $361,000

The former school police officer accused of faking his own shooting near a Woodland Hills high school and setting off a wide-scale manhunt for a gunman who didn't exist was sentenced Wednesday to jail time.

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Jeff Stenroos, 31, was ordered to serve two years in jail. He was sentenced to three years probation.

Stenroos called himself a disgrace to the badge during Wednesday's proceedings.

"My actions today, tomorrow and in the future will show my remorse," Stenroos told the court.

Stenroos was convicted Sept. 12 on felony counts of insurance fraud, workers' compensation fraud, preparing false documentary evidence and planting false evidence in connection with the Jan. 19 report outside El Camino Real High School.

Stenroos technically was sentenced to five years behind bars, but the judge suspended three years of the term. If Stenroos meets terms of his probation, he will not have to serve the additional three years in jail.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19. Authorities are seeking more than $361,000 in restitution.
Stenroos' report that he was shot once in the chest by a burglary suspect while wearing a protective vest prompted an 8-square-mile search and nine school lockdowns. Total cost: More than $361,000.

"Just like a kid at Halloween, he put on a costume that day," Deputy District Attorney Paul Nunez said during closing arguments.

As other officers searched the neighborhood for the shooter, Stenroos was treated and released at a hospital. He even provided information for a suspect sketch.

About a week after the shooting, an LAPD investigation led authorities to believe Stenroos lied about the shooting. The eight-year LAUSD veteran was arrested Jan. 27.

Investigators cited "inconsistencies" in Stenroos' story.

Despite the LAPD investigation, police interviews and information presented at the trial, Stenroos' motives and key details regarding the events that led to Stenroos' report still remain unclear. Defense attorneys have claimed the shooting was not staged, but that the case involved an "accidental discharge."

Prosecutors claimed during the trial that Stenroos staged the shooting to gain media attention and time off with pay.

Related: Attorneys Hone Method to Detect Lies


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