Whittier officer recovering after shootout with homicide suspect

A Whittier police officer who suffered two gunshot wounds by an alleged homicide suspect Monday night is in stable condition and recovering, authorities said on Tuesday. 

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who assisted the Whittier Police Department during the incident, officers were surveilling 25-year-old Edgar Gonzalez, a documented gang member and a suspect in a July 30 Santa Fe Springs homicide, at around 6:45 p.m. last night.  

In what was considered a high-risk traffic stop, police attempted to pull Gonzalez over in an alley off Pickering Avenue and Penn Street. The 25-year-old exited his vehicle and ran.  

Officers chased Gonzales as he ran between several apartment complexes in the 7300 block of Pickering Avenue before shooting at police, who returned fire. The suspect dropped his firearm and continued to run.  

Police said that when they caught Gonzalez, he was uncooperative, prompting authorities to deploy a less-than-lethal round and a police K-9 to subdue him. The 25-year-old had also been shot in the hand. He was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital for treatment.  

Video from the incident captured some of the chaos, with several streets in the area cordoned off by law enforcement.  

“The officers were urging us to lock all the doors since we work late,” Adrian Treto, who works at nearby La Paca Clothing Store, told KTLA.  

A child in the area when the incident unfolded thought he was hearing fireworks.  

“I heard a bunch of gunshots,” the boy told KTLA. “I thought they were fireworks, and I was like, ‘Why are there fireworks?’ and I heard someone say, ‘Bullets, bullets.’”

Authorities said that on Sunday, July 30, Whittier police responded to a shooting at around 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Pioneer Boulevard and Charlesworth Road where three suspects, including Gonzalez, allegedly walked up to another driver at the intersection and fatally shot them after a verbal altercation.  

“It is a gang-related murder that Whittier PD was investigating and were able to identify this suspect as the shooter,” LASD Lt. Hugo Reynaga said.

Whittier police officer shot
A Whittier police officer was rushed to the hospital after suffering two gunshot wounds in a shootout with a homicide suspect on July 31, 2023. (KeyNews TV)

As for the officer who sustained gunshot wounds, they were rushed to Los Angeles General Medical Center where he was said to be “in good spirits,” according to a social media post by Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri

In response to the incident, Whittier Police Chief Aviv Bar released a statement that read in part: 

“Too many career criminals and violent repeat offenders are on the streets receiving break after break and reprieve after reprieve from the criminal justice system while continuing to victimize others, including taking violent action against our law enforcement officers.”  

So far, authorities have not announced what charges Gonzalez will face for both incidents.  

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