Officials say Angel Reinosa cut bullet holes in his shirt and claimed he had been shot by someone in a nearby building

A Los Angeles county deputy lied when he said he was shot in the shoulder while standing in a sheriffs station parking lot last week and will face a criminal investigation, authorities said.

The reported sniper assault was fabricated by deputy Angel Reinosa, assistant sheriff Robin Limon said at a news conference on Saturday.

Reinosa, 21, made a frantic radio call on Wednesday, claiming he had been shot by someone in a nearby building as he walked to his car outside the Lancaster station.

The call prompted a huge police response. Deputies set up a perimeter and Swat officers went door-to-door inside a sprawling building complex to search for the gunman.

Deputies searched through the night for the sniper inside the block-long, four-story structure with many windows that overlook the sheriffs facility in downtown Lancaster, a desert city of about 160,000 people north of Los Angeles.

Tactical teams evacuated some people and had others shelter in place, officials said.

Deputies cleared nearby buildings including a library. Authorities urged residents to avoid the neighborhood. Metrolink train service was halted in the area.

The search was called off on Thursday and authorities said the shooter was still at large.

Investigators initially believed Reinosas bulletproof vest saved his life but that a bullet grazed him. A department statement the next day said a single round hit the top of Reinosas shoulder, damaging his uniform shirt but failing to penetrate his flesh.

But no bullets were recovered from the scene and detectives saw no visible injuries, Capt Kent Wegener said on Saturday night.

Much of the young deputys statement was self-serving and didnt make a whole lot of sense, Wegener said. There were many things that didnt add up.

Reinosa eventually admitted making up the story and using a knife to cut the two holes in his shirt, Wegener said.

Reinosa has been relieved of his duties and could face charges for filing a false report about a crime, officials said. He did not explain his motive for the fabrication, Wegener said.

Reinosa has been with the LA county sheriffs department for a year and joined the Lancaster station in May for patrol training.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

 

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