Crime & Justice

Suspect who allegedly shot LAPD officer in the face identified

Police surround a home where they believe an armed suspect shot at an LAPD officer and a county probation officer in South Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Police surround a home where they believe an armed suspect shot at an LAPD officer and a county probation officer in South Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

A man suspected of shooting a Los Angeles policeman in the face during a probation search in the unincorporated Willowbrook area was found dead Wednesday in a house following an overnight standoff with an LAPD SWAT team.

A coroner's office representative told KPCC that the man was identified as Howard Partee. The coroner's office told a local wire service that an autopsy had not been conducted on the 33-year-old as of Wednesday evening, and it was not clear if he committed suicide or was shot.

A probation officer was also slightly wounded in the shooting, which took place around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in a house near the Glen Anderson (105) Freeway and the border with Lynwood.

The shooting came around 13 hours after an ambush attack in the Mid-City area that left two LAPD detectives slightly wounded.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said anti-gang officers from the 77th Street Station were assisting the county probation department with a parole/probation search of a residence when "they were confronted by [someone] hiding in the attic."

The officer was shot in the jaw area, Beck said. "It is gonna be an extensive recovery period for him, but we expect him to recover."

Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers said his wounded colleague, an 18- year veteran, "sustained a bullet wound, a graze wound, to his leg," and was treated at a hospital and released. A second probation officer at the scene "returned fire with the other LAPD officers" and escaped injury, Powers said.

"This incident certainly highlights the dangerous and unpredictable nature of what probation and police officers encounter every day," Powers said.

"The safety of our communities and our staff are paramount, and I can assure you we are going to use all of our resources at our disposal to carry out our mission. I'm grateful that we didn't lose any officers last night. It was very easily a disaster averted."

The suspect in Tuesday night's shooting barricaded himself in the house, which was surrounded by dozens of law enforcement officers, according to LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

After daybreak, tear gas was fired into the house, and SWAT team members entered. About two hours later, police announced that the man was found dead in the attic.

The wounded LAPD officer was taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where he underwent surgery.

The shooting triggered a citywide tactical alert, which allowed officers to be kept on duty after the end of their scheduled shifts. It was later downgraded to include only the LAPD's South Bureau. Homes around the house where the suspect was barricaded were evacuated after the shooting.

Two people, possibly a husband and wife, were removed late Tuesday from a backhouse at the rear of the surrounded home.

Smith said there appeared to be no connection with the 117th Street shooting and the shooting of the two detectives outside the LAPD's Wilshire Station early Tuesday.

At Wednesday afternoon's news conference, Beck showed video surveillance footage of the suspect in the earlier attack.

"You can clearly see a dark object in his right hand. Based on the officers' statements and evidence, we believe that object to be a revolver. We ask the public's help in identifying this individual," Beck said.

"As you can see, he's wearing dark clothing, possibly quilted nylon. Again, we consider this individual to be an extreme danger to the community and we ask their help in identifying him."