WEST COVINA >> A gunman shot a California Highway Patrol officer during a traffic stop in West Covina early Friday then led police on a pursuit that ended in Fontana with his arrest.
CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said two officers exchanged fire with the suspect who was hit. The second officer wasn’t injured.
The wounded officer was in stable condition at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, according to Jimenez. He said the 40-year-old man has been with the department six years and works at the CHP Baldwin Park office.
The suspect, whose name has not been released, got bit by a West Covina police dog while being taken into custody. He was transported to a hospital. Jimenez didn’t know the suspect’s current condition but described the man’s injuries as “non-life threatening.”
Jimenez said numerous weapons were recovered from the SUV driven by the suspect.
The incident started around 1:40 a.m. when a two-man unit working the graveyard shift pulled over a Cadillac Escalade that was traveling westbound on the 10 Freeway. Jimenez said the SUV and the patrol car ended up in a parking lot on Sunset Avenue and West Garvey Avenue North.
“During the contact, the officers got shot at,” Jimenez said. The officers fired back.
He didn’t have details on what occurred before the shooting.
CHP Officer Edgar Figueroa said the Escalade fled after the shooting but was seen by West Covina police on the eastbound 10 Freeway.
Police chased the SUV on multiple freeways until the pursuit came to an end in a dirt field near Arrow Boulevard and Citrus Avenue in Fontana, where the alleged shooter was captured.
The man was taken down by a West Covina K-9 unit and taken into custody. He was then transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of injuries, CHP Officer Tony Polizzi said.
Officers searched for a woman believed to be in the car with the suspect.
Jimenez said the initial information put out about the shooting described the SUV’s occupants as a man and a woman. But he said they’re not certain there was a second suspect since the driver was the only one in the SUV when arrested.
Fontana Police Lt. Gary Aulis said one of their units was involved in the chase at the end. Fontana police also assisted with traffic control, he added.
West Covina police declined comment and referred the paper to the CHP.
The CHP issued a SigAlert for the Sunset Avenue offramp from the westbound 10 Freeway shortly after 4 a.m. It remains closed due to the investigation.
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