A man fired a rifle at two Los Angeles police officers in a patrol car, but no one was injured in the attack that comes amid nationwide tension between police and protesters rallying against their tactics.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spokeswoman Nuria Venegas said Monday that one man was under arrest and a second suspect was being sought in the Sunday night shooting in South Los Angeles, an area of the city ridden with crime and heavily patrolled by police.
The attack follows weeks of protests in California and across the country against police killings of unarmed black men in Missouri and New York. The subsequent shooting of two New York City officers in their patrol car has departments proceeding with caution, police said.
LAPD Deputy Chief Bob Green told KNBC-TV at the scene of the Los Angeles shooting that "based on what's going on in the national picture, tensions are very high, that's not what we need. Whether or not this is related to that — too early to tell."
The two LAPD officers were responding to a radio call and driving slowly in the neighborhood around 9:30 p.m. when they saw the muzzle flash of a rifle pointed in their direction, Venegas said. The officers returned fire, but apparently no one was hit. They arrested one suspect and recovered a rifle.
Police searched the neighborhood throughout the night for the second suspect, warning nearby residents to stay in their homes. The search of the immediate area was called off early Monday morning.
Rising tensions between police and protesters have created problems for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has expressed some qualified support for the protests. Some NYPD officers have been openly defiant of the liberal mayor. As de Blasio delivered a eulogy at the funeral of one of the gunned-down officers, thousands of officers turned their backs on him.
The New York City gunman ambushed the officers and then killed himself after posting threats online, including references to the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City. Both of the unarmed black men were killed by white officers.
Al Jazeera and wire services