LANCASTER (CNS) – A sheriff’s sergeant responding to a residential burglary call was shot and fatally wounded today near an apartment complex in Lancaster, and a parolee was taken into custody about 90 minutes later and hospitalized with a gunshot wound.
The shooting was reported about 12:30 p.m. in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7, and Sgt. Steve Owen, 53, died at a hospital.
Owen, a married father of grown children, had been a sergeant at the Lancaster Station for five years and, in 2014, received a Medal of Valor along with five of his station colleagues for their roles in a pursuit and standoff situation involving a series of armed gang members, according to the sheriff’s department.
The mayor of Lancaster, who went to the hospital, told the Los Angeles Times that the lawman had been shot in the face.
A deputy who was hurt — but not shot — apparently when the suspect tried to comandeer a patrol car, was also taken to a hospital, according to the sheriff’s department. The deputy’s name was not released.
Sheriff’s SWAT deputies were involved in the search for the suspect, who sustained a gunshot wound to the upper body and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. His name was not immediately released.
No other suspects were being sought, according to the sheriff’s department.
The suspect at one point tried to steal a sheriff’s patrol car, Capt. Steve Katz said at the scene. A cruiser parked near a carport had at least five bullet holes in the windshield.
During the suspect search, officials at Antelope Valley College – which is a few blocks south of the shooting scene — advised students and staff to “shelter in place” and several area schools, including Lancaster High School, were placed on lockdown.