SHERMAN OAKS (CNS) - An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer and a man were injured today in a shootout at a Sherman Oaks apartment complex.
The shooting occurred after the officer left his apartment and entered the parking garage of the complex in the 5200 block of Vesper Avenue, near Van Nuys and Magnolia boulevards, where he discovered the man sitting in the officer's car at about 2:25 p.m., said LAPD Chief Michel Moore.
The man was wearing the officer's bulletproof vest and had stolen the officer's gun from his duty bag, which was stowed in the car, Moore said.
The officer, who was armed with a backup handgun, confronted the man about the break-in. An altercation between the officer and the man ensued, which escalated to a shootout.
The man fired at the officer, and the officer returned fire, Moore said. The shootout led to a breezeway behind the apartment, where the man was shot in an arm and shoulder and fell to the ground.
The officer retrieved the gun from the man and returned to his vehicle. He placed the weapons near the vehicle and collapsed with two gunshot wounds in his chest and one in his thigh, which he sustained during the shootout.
Los Angeles Fire Department units arrived at the scene and rendered aid to the officer before taking him to a hospital, Moore said.
LAFD personnel also discovered the suspect in the breezeway throwing the officer's handgun magazines over a fence. He was also given aid and taken to a hospital.
The officer is in stable condition but will undergo surgery for his wounds, Moore said.
The man was also listed in stable condition. His name was not released.
It was not immediately known how he gained access to the apartment's garage area or the officer's vehicle.
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