LAUSD Police Officer Arrested in Connection With Shooting Hoax

The shooting reported by Officer Jeffrey Stenroos shut down 9 schools.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The LAUSD police officer who said he was shot and wounded in a confrontation with an armed suspect outside a Woodland Hills high school has been arrested, accused of making up the whole story. School officials say the officer will be fired.

LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines told KTLA on Friday that he is “outraged” at the developments and would fire the officer.

“I intend to relieve this employee this morning,” Cortines said.

Cortines also issued an apology to the public.

“I just want to apologize that one of our employees played a hoax on the city of L.A. and especially our schools and our staff and their families,” he said.

“But I also don’t want anybody to think that this one individual reflects the high standard and regard I have for the men and women in blue that protect our schools, our students and our staff every day,” he added.

LAPD Chief Charles Beck on Thursday announced the arrest of Officer Jeffrey Stenroos on one felony count of filing a false police report.

On January 19, the LAPD responded to and launched an extensive investigation after Officer Stenroos reported a burglary suspect attempted to murder him by shooting him in the chest while he was on patrol near El Camino High School in the San Fernando Valley.

The police response was massive. The incident prompted a manhunt that included 350 police and deputies, and the lockdown of nine different schools in the area.

Residents were unable to return to their homes and more than 9,000 LAUSD students were locked in the classrooms for hours without access to food or bathrooms.

After the incident, Stenroos was said to have been saved by his bullet-proof vest. Stenroos reportedly had a large bruise on his left chest that was supposedly caused by an assailant’s bullet.

Beck would not comment on Stenroos’ injury.

An LAPD source told the Los Angeles Times that Stenroos’ protective vest showed obvious signs of having been struck by a bullet, and the officer also suffered bruising on his chest. Detectives reportedly raised questions about whether Stenroos accidentally shot himself and then fabricated the story.

According to Chief Beck, “the current state of the investigation refutes Stenroos’ initial account of the incident and we are now certain that there is no outstanding suspect in this shooting.”

Beck added that detectives worked tirelessly to ensure the case was thoroughly investigated and the community was never at risk.

Detectives followed up on more than 350 clues, conducted a number of neighborhood canvasses, made hundreds of community contacts and distributed countless Community Alert Notices in hopes of gathering any valuable leads in the case.

“While I understand the media and the public’s intense interest in this investigation, and the desire for answers to the many questions that will be asked with this new development of the Officer’s arrest, I cannot provide more detailed information at this time,” Beck said.

In the meantime, Los Angeles Police Protective League president Paul Webber released a statement calling Stenroos, “an embarrassment to law enforcement.”


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