Suspect arrested in connection with ‘ambush’ of L.A. County deputy

A suspect has been arrested in connection with the “ambush” of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the back at a West Covina stoplight on his department motorcycle, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Deputy Samuel Aispuro, 43, was shot once in the back at about 2:45 p.m. on Monday at Barranca Street and East Garvey Avenue, authorities said. After the shooting, Aispuro was able to radio for help, triggering a massive manhunt. The deputy was hospitalized in stable condition.

The suspect’s name has not been released, and their alleged role in the shooting remains unclear. Sheriff Robert Luna is expected to give more details at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

“The bulletproof vest he was wearing absolutely saved his life,” Luna said Monday of Aispuro. “What kind of person shoots another person in the back? I could think of a lot of names for that…. To me that’s the worst of the worst.”

Deputies are continuing to search for other suspects, who they believe were in a white vehicle with tinted windows, last seen headed westbound on the 10 Freeway from Barranca.

“Right now, there is somebody out there armed with a firearm who shot one of our deputies in the back,” Luna said. “And if he’s willing to do that, I’m sure he’s willing to shoot at anybody else.”

Aispuro, who has been with the department for 19½ years, put out an emergency broadcast with information that led to an initial search for the white vehicle, Luna said. The search led to a house in La Puente, where several people were detained but ultimately released without arrests, Luna said.

Luna said the injured deputy is a married father of two.

Aispuro worked out of the Century station in Lynwood and was in West Covina for training, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement.

“This could have been so much worse, and it is a reminder to all of us that our deputies put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities,” she said. “I stand ready to support the sheriff as he and his deputies work to bring the person responsible to justice.”

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