Speaking at a news conference near the scene, a CHP identified the male officer only as a 27-year-old who has been with the agency for slightly less than a year.
The suspect, Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi, a 33-year-old military veteran, was considered armed and dangerous before he was found hiding inside a tent on Gloria Avenue in Van Nuys. The Los Angeles Police Department said a 4-year-old bloodhound K-9, named Piper, picked up the scent of blood left by the suspect at his apartment and tracked him down.
“We expect our bloodhounds to perform well,” LAPD Sgt. Desi Ehrlich told reporters. “Twelve hours is a long period of time to acquire a scent trail and take us to the source of that scent. So we’re very proud of Piper, we’re very proud of the handler, all the work that everybody did today on the bloodhound squad.”
Other people who were also found inside the tent were released shortly after.
Deric Lewis told Eyewitness News that he was startled when officers suddenly pulled him out of his tent early Tuesday morning, along with his girlfriend and the suspect. Lewis says Khosroabadi walked into his tent last night armed, hiding from law enforcement.
Lewis claims Khosroabadi admitted to shooting the CHP officer.
“He says he’s a Marine and he didn’t want to go to jail, and he had some troop members who committed suicide. He was on edge all night, and he had a gun,” Lewis said. “We just gave him cigarettes and talked to him. He said that he shot that officer, he told us, and he had blood all over clothes.
“He kept saying ‘I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead.’ He kept saying that, but I’m sure he probably is experiencing some kind of PTSD,” said Lewis. “He said he was in one of the bloodiest battles in Afghanistan, but he also said he had two platoon members this week to commit suicide.”
Investigators say that a Glock firearm with an extended clip, believed to have been used in the shooting, was found and retrieved.
The manhunt for Khosroabadi began just before 8 pm Monday when an officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop at the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Landale Street, according to the CHP.
Witnesses told ABC7 that the driver initially refused to pull over. Eventually, the driver and officer pulled into the parking lot at Campbell Hall Episcopal, a private K-12 grade school.
The driver got out of the car and a physical altercation ensued. That’s when authorities said the suspect pulled out a gun and fired several rounds, striking the officer multiple times, before fleeing the scene.
Shortly after the shooting, a large police presence surrounded an apartment complex in the area of Saticoy Street and Haskell Avenue in Van Nuys, where the shooter lives and was believed to be barricaded.
A car matching the suspect’s vehicle description was found near the apartment complex. Video from the scene captured loud booms as SWAT officers attempted to get the suspect out of the apartment complex, but he wasn’t found there after several hours.
Meanwhile, the injured officer was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and was last listed in critical but stable condition in the ICU. He is expected to survive, said Officer Ramberto Salcido, a CHP
Khosroabadi is expected to be charged with attempted murder of a peace officer.
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