UPDATED AT 8:30 P.M.
A Los Angeles Police Department SWAT officer was expected to make a full recovery after he was wounded in a gunfight Thursday with a murder suspect in Hawthorne.
The shootout happened at the end of a car chase when the wanted man began firing with a handgun, according to the LAPD.
The SWAT officer was struck in the hip.
“We had several Hawthorne Police Officers also involved in the gunfight, as well as four Los Angeles Police officers - two from SWAT and two from Special Investigations Section,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
(Above: shooting scene on Aviation Blvd. Photo by Eric Leonard)
The injured officer was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
The man they were chasing, whom Beck identified as, “Knox,” was wanted for a gang murder.
Knox was shot at least three times and was said to be in serious condition late Thursday.
(Above: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck talks with reporters at the scene. Photo by Eric Leonard)
The LAPD said Knox was one of several men named on arrest warrants for a March 31 gang shooting in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of South L.A.
According to reports issued at the time, a 32-year-old man named Whitney Henry Yorke was shot to death around 6:00 p.m. in the 3100 block of 8th Avenue.
"Three men walked up and fired multiple gunshots," LAPD Det. Dave Garrido told the L.A. Times in a story published a few days later.
Chief Beck said detectives began a surveillance of Knox early Thursday near 117th St. and Avalon Blvd., and the plan was to tail Knox away from a home and arrest him in something of a forced traffic stop.
"The intent was to use a vehicle intervention technique," Beck said, a tactic used by the Special Investigation Section to suddenly box-in a suspected criminal's vehicle in an area free of pedestrians in order to avoid a car chase.
Knox may have detected the police presence and led officers on a high speed pursuit into Hawthorne.
(Photo: Eric Leonard)
Shannon Isom, seen above talking with reporters over a wall nearby, said he was outside drinking coffee when he heard screeching tires and sirens, saw police cars and a helicopter, and heard gunshots.
"Ten second later there's the AR-15 being shot," he said, recognizing the unique report of rifle fire.
"It was about 15 to 20 rounds, distinctive rounds, being shot off."