Police Sergeant Ambushed, Suspects At Large

September 12, 2006

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police investigators released a photograph of a 1980’s model gray Toyota Previa van, which is similar to the minivan used in the ambush assault of Sergeant Gabriel Kearney last Saturday.

"This investigation is of the highest priority," said Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "It’s rare that you see such a premeditated, sinister attempt to harm a police officer. To think, they used the pretext of the sergeant helping someone to lure him into a trap."

Sergeant Kearney has provided detailed descriptions of the two men who attacked him, and forensic artists are putting together composite sketches, which will be released soon.

The ambush occurred on Saturday afternoon, September 9, around 2 PM, when a White man in his thirties flagged down Sergeant Kearney at a bicycle shop on Ventura Boulevard. The man told Kearney that another man was unconscious in a nearby pedestrian tunnel. Kearney drove his police car to the tunnel along Sale Avenue, between Del Valle Street and Avenue San Luis. The man followed Kearney to the tunnel in a faded gray Toyota Previa van.

Sergeant Kearney walked into the tunnel and saw another man lying on the ground. Unbeknownst to Kearney, the first man followed him in the tunnel. Kearney heard the man behind him say, "Hey, officer," then the man hit Kearney over the head with a beer bottle.

Kearney fell to his knees, stunned, then saw the second man, who had been on the ground, charging at him with a long kitchen knife. Kearney fired two shots at the man, who turned and ran out of the tunnel. His apparent accomplice ran out of the tunnel in the other direction. When Kearney emerged from the tunnel, the van was pulling away.

Kearney thought he hit the second suspect with gunfire, but investigators found no evidence to confirm that. They did find the suspect’s knife and the beer bottle used to stun Kearney.

Kearney was treated at a local hospital for the bump on the head, but he returned to the scene to assist investigators. Kearney is 34 years old and has over 9 years with LAPD.

Both suspects were White, in their thirties, thin, about 6 feet tall, and appeared to be dirty. They had short, brown hair, cut in a crew cuts, and may be methamphetamine users.

Anyone with information on this assault is asked to call Detective Marks, Force Investigation Division, at 213-485-6475. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).