Los Angeles County Deputy Shot in West Covina, Saved by Bulletproof Vest

Los Angeles County Deputy Shot in West Covina, Saved by Bulletproof Vest

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies gather at a crime scene in Torrance, Calif., in a file photo. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

4/22/2024

Updated: 4/22/2024

WEST COVINA, Calif.—A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department motor officer was shot in the back April 22 in West Covina, with a bulletproof vest likely saving his life.
The shooting occurred around 2:45 p.m. Monday near the San Bernardino (10) Freeway at North Barranca Street around East Garvey Avenue while the deputy was stopped at a red light.
Deputy Samuel Aispuro was in full uniform when the shooting occurred, and the bullet did not penetrate his bulletproof vest, according to Sheriff Robert Luna.
“Based on the examination of his vest, he was struck once,” Mr. Luna said at an early evening briefing at the shooting scene.
Mr. Aispuro, 43, was taken to an ambulance but was alert and conscious, with the bulletproof vest believed to have effectively stopped the bullet.
Several people of interest who “may not be involved” in the deputy shooting were detained but were being released as of Monday evening, Mr. Luna said.
According to reports from the scene, a witness told responding deputies that the shots were fired from a white van, and authorities quickly tracked the vehicle to a home in the 600 block of Mangate Avenue in nearby La Puente.
Homicide investigators were conducting an investigation into the shooting Monday evening with the assistance of the West Covina Police Department to locate and arrest the suspect responsible for shooting Mr. Aispuro.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said the deputy is assigned to the Century Sheriff’s Station in Lynwood and was in West Covina for training.
“Thankfully, the bullet struck his bulletproof vest, and he is going to be OK,” Ms. Hahn said in a statement.
“This could have been so much worse, and it is a reminder to all of us that our deputies put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities. I stand ready to support the sheriff as he and his deputies work to bring the person responsible to justice.”
Anyone with information regarding the shooting was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or visit lacrimestoppers.org.
“Somebody saw something,” Mr. Luna said. “We need to get this person off the street.”
Mr. Aispuro has been with the sheriff’s department for nearly 20 years and is married with two children ages 4 and 2.
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