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2 officers shot trying to arrest suspect in deputy shooting

August 19, 2021 GMT

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Two police officers were shot and wounded Wednesday before killing a gunman suspected of wounding a Southern California sheriff’s deputy a day earlier, authorities said.

The San Bernardino SWAT officers identified the suspect and were trying to arrest him when the shooting took place shortly after 3:30 p.m. in neighboring Highland east of Los Angeles, authorities said.

The officers were taken to a hospital and were described as alert and able to talk. They were expected to survive, San Bernardino Police Chief Eric McBride said.

The suspect was identified as Ervin Olikong, 34, a San Bernardino gang member with a long criminal history that included assault and robbery who was wanted on a warrant for assault with a deadly weapon, McBride said.

After Olikong was identified as the suspect in the previous attack, San Bernardino officers put him under surveillance for several hours before moving in to arrest him, at which point he began shooting at them and the officers fired back, McBride said.

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A handgun was found at the scene, he said.

On Tuesday afternoon, a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy was wounded as he chased a car. Police said the 27-year-old deputy was ambushed while trying to stop the car for reasons that weren’t immediately released.

Video showed the sheriff’s patrol SUV speeding after a white car and turning a corner before several dozen shots were heard.

The driver of the other car stopped and got out of his car, took out a rifle and “laid in wait for the deputy,” San Bernardino police Sgt. Equino Thomas said at a news conference.

The deputy, a four-year veteran of the department who had superficial facial injuries and a possible shrapnel or gunshot wound to his arm, was hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday and expected to make a full recovery, the Sheriff’s Department said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether he was hit by gunfire or by debris from his patrol vehicle, which was riddled with bullets, had shattered windows and was partially burned.

After Tuesday’s information, authorities found a rifle inside a white BMW that was believed to have been involved in the chase that was found at an apartment complex, and the weapon’s caliber matched shell casings found at the shooting, Thomas said.