LAPD shooting suspect was rejected from Police Academy

LAPD shooting suspect brought a Glock pistol into the lobby of the Police Department's West Traffic Division station, walked 25 feet to the front desk, said 'I have a complaint' and started shooting, police said.

Conan Nolan/KNBC-TV/AP
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck talks to reporters during a news conference at police headquarters in Los Angeles, April 8, with weapons and ammunition found in the car and home of the man police say opened fire with a handgun inside the LAPD's West Traffic Division station the night before. Authorities identified Daniel Christopher Yealu, 29, as the shooter who wounded one officer several times before he was wounded in the ensuing gun battle.

A man suspected of shooting up a police station lobby and wounding an officer before being critically injured in a gunbattle had wanted to become a Los Angeles police officer and was rejected, authorities said Tuesday.

Daniel C. Yealu, 29, applied through the personnel department but never made it to the Police Academy, Cmdr. Andrew Smith told The Associated Press.

Smith said he did not know when the application was made and had no information about why Yealu was rejected.

Investigators also didn't immediately disclose a possible motive for the Monday night attack.

Yealu mentioned last year that he had applied to the Police Academy, was earning good money as a security guard and had plans to buy a condominium, his father, Danny Yealu, told the Los Angeles Times.

His son showed no warning signs before Monday night's attack, said Yealu, 58.

The younger Yealu brought a Glock pistol into the lobby of the Police Department's West Traffic Division station, walked 25 feet to the front desk, said "I have a complaint" and started shooting, police said.

Yealu and the desk officer were both shot several times in the close-range gunfight that followed. A second officer was involved in the shootout but wasn't struck by bullets.

The desk officer was shot in the shoulder and elsewhere. He wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest, but a backup pistol in his left pocket deflected a shot to his leg, Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday.

It is "an amazing story of survival," Beck said.

Yealu was hospitalized in critical condition.

The name of the wounded officer wasn't released but he is a seven-year veteran, Beck said.

Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said the officer was in good spirits and chatting with hospital visitors.

"He's got a big smile on his face," Soboroff said. "And his mom was there and she had a big smile on her face, and tears in her eyes."

Officers serving a search warrant at Yealu's west Los Angeles home Tuesday turned up hundreds of rounds of ammunition and weapons, including two assault rifles, a shotgun and two handguns, authorities said.

Yealu had a license to work as a security guard starting in 2005 and as of last year had a license to carry a firearm, but it was canceled, records showed.

The shooting at the station 7 miles west of downtown occurred as some three dozen people were in another room attending a meeting of the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council.

Council member Daphne Brogdon said when gunfire erupted, she dove behind a lectern.

"I hid, and everyone else just hit the ground," she told the Times. "Everyone was trying to be really quiet, and the shots continued."

One of her council colleagues was next to her.

"We were just holding hands," Brogdon said, "looking at each other saying, 'Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God.'"

The shooting marked the LAPD's fourth on-duty injury in a month.

On March 7, a rookie officer was injured in a Beverly Hills crash that killed Officer Nicholas Lee, a 16-year veteran assigned to the department's Hollywood station.

A little more than two weeks later, another Hollywood officer was injured by shrapnel when a man opened fire at a Hollywood Hills home.

On Saturday, a longtime motorcycle officer was critically injured when he was pinned between two vehicles in Sun Valley. Beck on Tuesday described that officer's injuries as "catastrophic" and said he remained in "extremely critical condition."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.