LAPD Cop’s Helmet Struck by Fellow Officer’s Bullet During Shootout

The suspect, an at large parolee, was found dead after gun battle; he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said

Amid the wild firefight with a violent career criminal that went down on March 8 after an hours-long standoff in Lincoln Heights in which three cops were shot, a bullet was hurled into the helmet of one of the responding officers, officials determined this week. 

“Based on the initial investigation, it appears one round fired from an unknown officer’s handgun struck the ballistic helmet of another officer present. The ballistic helmet deflected the round and no injuries were sustained from this impact,” the LAPD said in a Friday press release.

Last week’s shootout began when plainclothes detectives from the Hollenbeck Division Narcotics Enforcement Detail were conducting surveillance in the area of Broadway and Prince Street for an at-large parolee identified as 32–year–old Jonathan Magana, the LAPD said. Magana, who has a long rap sheet, was wanted in connection with what police called an extortion case in the area when cops spotted him in an alley; noticing the LAPD officers, Magana fled into a basement apartment of an occupied building.

Roughly two hours later, a K9 unit attempted to enter the apartment after tear gas canisters were used in an attempt to draw Magana out. 

“At one point during the search. The suspect exited and fired at the officers, wounding three … who are now listed in stable condition here just behind me,” LAPD Assistant Chief Al Labrada told reporters at a press conference on the night of March 8 outside L.A. County-USC Medical Center.

After shots were fired by Magana, an unknown number of police officers shot back, Labrada said, while the wounded cops were being dragged to safety. It was one of those rounds that hit an officer’s helmet.

A SWAT team in tactical gear entered the scene hours later, at which point Magana’s body was discovered unresponsive by officers, according to LAPD officials. Magana was pronounced dead at the scene. The Los Angeles County Coroner called a death by self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was also wounded in the firefight, according to the coroner’s report. 

Two loaded handguns were recovered at the scene, including a 9mm Polymer 80 semi-automatic “ghost gun” and a 9mm Glock semi-automatic Model 43X.  A loaded extended high-capacity magazine was also recovered at the scene. 

During the incident, one officer was shot in the abdomen; a second was shot in the arm; the third officer was struck by a bullet in the leg and midsection. None of the officers’ canine partners were hit in the shootout.

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