(March 13, 2003 initial posting 1 p.m., updated 7:55 p.m.) -- Two people -- a gunman and a restaurant employee -- are dead, and an LBPD officer was hit in the leg, in a frightening exchange of gunfire inside a restaurant in the 1000 block of Alamitos Ave. (border of 1st and 6th Council districts).
[update] In a written release distributed early this evening, LBPD says that at approximately 2:30 a.m. today, LBPD received a 9-1-1 "man with a gun call" indicating a man was inside a restaurant with a gun.
The release indicates that as officers arrived at the location in the 1000 block of Alamitos Ave (northeast corner of 10th & Alamitos), "they saw a woman running out of the restaurant and two males involved in a physical altercation inside the restaurant. Believing that one of the subjects was possibly armed with a gun, an officer took immediate action to protect any innocent victims and entered the restaurant. The officer was joined by a second officer who entered the restaurant behind him. The officers exchanged gunfire with the armed suspect and one of the officers received a gunshot wound to the leg."
LBPD identified the suspect as 24 year old Henry Rodriguez of LB. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The release indicates officers immediately began performing life saving efforts on a restaurant employee who was suffering from gunshot wounds. The employee, identified as 19 year old Jaime Alcala of LB, was transported to a local hospital where he died as a result of the gunshot wounds he received. [end update]
The release leaves unclear from whom Mr. Alcala received his mortal wounds (the suspect/gunman or someone else). [LBReport.com note: It's virtually certain this will be determined by further investigation, including an autopsy.]
Police separately told LBReport.com that the officer shot in the leg was treated and released.
LBPD indicates detectives are still investigating the motive for Rodriguez's attack on Alcala. Police ask anyone with information regarding the shooting to contact LBPD Homicide Detectives Paul Edwards or Chris Cardoza at (562) 570-7244.