2 Deputies Shot in East LA Gang Battle Recovering

If you happened to catch the news over the past 24 hours, especially those in Southern California, you may have heard about the shootout in East LA last night.  The action went down at Salazar Park, where sheriff's deputies responded to a call reporting suspicious individuals in the area brandishing a gun.

Once the deputies were on the scene, they engaged in a deadly exchange of fire with 3 gang members: 39-year-old Rene Herrera, and 18-year-olds Fernando Cruz and Hector Martinez.  

Herrera is dead.  Cruz is in critical condition, and Martinez was arrested.

Of the six deputies that were involved in the shootout, one was shot in the should and one in the jaw.  

Both of the wounded officers were taken to the hospital, where they were visited by about a dozen of their deputy colleagues - and it looks like the well-wishes worked!  

The deputy who had been shot in the shoulder suffered a "clean" shot, meaning that the bullet had a clean entry into and out of the body, and didn't hit any major arteries.  He's been released from the hospital.  The other deputy is in good / stable condition.

Unfortunately, the story hasn't wrapped up as nicely as the deputies' wounds, and things have gone political.

LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell is facing some serious backlash, insomuch as he has been accused by McDonnell's main contender for the position of sheriff:  Alex Villanueva.

Villanueva saw the fatal shootout as an opportunity to attack McDonnell's operations, saying that the whole ordeal should never have happened.  His claim is that McDonnell should've had more deputies on hand patrolling this area of East LA - that the Sheriff's Department cut down manpower to save on overtime wages.

McDonnell responded to the accusations, calling them "disgusting," especially at a time when the department was out putting their lives and literally getting shot and potentially killed.

Read more over at the LA Times.

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