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Suspect arrested in connection with shooting of sheriff’s deputy


Near 10 Freeway in West Covina

A suspect was taken into custody this week in connection with the ambush shooting of a Los Angeles County sheriff's motorcycle deputy who was shot in the back while stopped at a West Covina intersection, and whose life was saved by his bulletproof vest.

Sheriff's department officials said late Tuesday morning that the suspect was arrested “by another law enforcement agency,'' and investigators believe the person “is linked to the shooting'' of Deputy Samuel Aispuro.

Aispuro, 43, was shot around 2:45 p.m. Monday while he was on his sheriff's department motorcycle in full uniform, stopped at the intersection of southbound Barranca Street at East Garvey Avenue, Sheriff Robert Luna said. The bullet struck Aispuro in the back, but it did not penetrate his bulletproof vest, Luna said.

Aispuro was awake and talking when he was loaded into an ambulance by paramedics following the shooting and taken to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

Witnesses initially reported that a white van may have been the source of the shots, and deputies quickly tracked it to a home in the 600 block of Mangate Avenue in nearby La Puente. Deputies swarmed the cul de sac and took several people into custody, but Luna said Monday evening those people were in the process of being released, because they ``may not be involved'' in the shooting.

Luna said at the time there was no description available of the assailant, but investigators were searching for a white sedan with tinted windows that was last seen heading west from Barranca on the San Bernardino (10) Freeway. Sheriff's officials said Aispuro himself provided the description of that possible suspect vehicle.

According to Luna, Aispuro is a nearly 20-year veteran of the sheriff's department. He is married with two children, aged 4 and 2.

The sheriff urged anyone with information about the shooting to come forward, calling the suspect “the worst of the worst'' for attacking a law enforcement officer in full uniform at an intersection in broad daylight.

“We consider this individual to be a public safety risk,'' Luna said, adding that “somebody saw something. We need to get this person off the street."

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said the injured deputy is assigned to the Century Sheriff's Station in Lynwood and was in West Covina for training.

“Thankfully, the bullet struck his bulletproof vest, and he is going to be OK,'' 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. I stand ready to support the sheriff as he and his deputies work to bring the person responsible to justice.''

Anyone with information regarding the shooting was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or visit