The shooting of the two policemen, aged 24 and 31, respectively, from Los Angeles, in an ambush, triggered a search operation for the shooter. The attacker approached their car, fired several times, then fled, according to images recorded by surveillance cameras. The two were in their patrol car near a Compton tube station when they were attacked from a distance but were able to call for help via the radio station, the city police chief said. “The gunman approached the police car and opened fire without warning or provocation,” the police statement said.

Villanueva, whose department has been heavily criticized in recent anti-racist protests, expressed frustration with anti-police sentiments and urged people to pray for the two injured.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter, sharing the recording with the attack, that “these animals must be severely punished.”

In 2020, about 40 police officers were killed during the service, according to statistics published by the FBI. Eight of them were ambushed.

At the doors of the hospital where the two officers were transported, several protesters shouted anti-police slogans and blocked the entrance to the emergency unit.