Los Angeles

Officer Shot in Gun Battle May Have Suffered Career-Ending Wound

An officer wounded in an early-morning gunbattle that left the man dead will likely walk again, a doctor said.

A Los Angeles police officer shot in the leg in a gun battle that left one of two suspected gunmen dead may have suffered a career-ending wound, his surgeon said Monday.

The 22-year veteran has been a member of the department's elite METRO unit -- or SWAT -- team for 15 years, said LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith, a department spokesman. He is married and has three kids.

The officer will be able to walk again, but he may not be able to run, said Dr. Gary Chen, the director of orthopedic surgery at California Hospital.

"He's awake and alert. His family is with him, other officers are with him. He's doing well," said Dr. Bryan Hubbard outside California Hospital.

The incident began when officers attempted to stop a wreckless driver at 2:20 a.m. near Manchester Boulevard and the Harbor (110) Freeway.

A 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe carrying two people continued and a pursuit ensued.

Police said while entering the onramp of Vernon Avenue one officer exchanged fire with at least one man in the SUV. No one was hit.

The pursuit continued on the 110 Freeway until the Tahoe got off on surface streets. The Tahoe crashed near 37th and Hill and another shooting occurred.

Both the driver and passenger allegedly exchanged fire with three officers, police said.

Both men fled the area and officers found one suspected gunman hiding inside a dumpster. After repeated demands for him to come out, officers used a flash-bang grenade to draw him out. That man was identified as 18-year-old Avel Jowen Turks of Corona.

A perimeter was set up in the area to find the second suspected gunman. Officers eventually found the second suspect and another shooting occurred near 37th Street and Grand Avenue.

Police said the suspect opened fire with a rifle and one officer was shot in the leg.

The suspect was fatally shot by police. He was identified as 37-year old Andre Maurice Jones, of Los Angeles. Both the suspect and officer were taken to a hospital.

"It sounded like a war over here," said South LA resident Frank Lishey. "It was scary."

Investigators were searching for a possible second weapon used by the suspect who was taken into custody.

Traffic was backed up on the 110 Freeway for hours as investigators collected evidence from the shootings.

NBC4's Gordon Tokumatsu and Oleevia Woo contributed to this report.

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