California officer killed by gang member while responding to traffic accident, police say

Two police officers who responded to a report of a traffic accident in California on Monday morning were shot, one fatally, and a known gang member was injured, according to authorities.

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The gang member, who was not identified, was injured after he shot a semi-automatic gun at Whittier police officers and they returned fire, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The shooting was reported around 8 a.m. after authorities were called to a three-car collision, the Whittier Daily News reported. The shooting happened near the intersection of Mar Vista Street and Colima Road, deputies said.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina told reporters that the gunman was driving a stolen vehicle when he collided with two other vehicles on Colima Road. Authorities said the man opened fire on officers as they were approaching the scene of the crash.

The officers returned fire and struck the man at least once, deputies said.

Emergency officials took the injured police officers and the injured gunman to a pair of hospitals for treatment, where one of the officers died, the Daily News reported. Police did not immediately identify the slain officer or any of the other people involved in the incident.

"It's extremely tragic," Corina told The Associated Press. "You just never know when officers respond to a call what they are going to run into."

Both the gunman and the wounded officer were in stable condition Monday afternoon, the Times reported. The other people involved in the accident that sparked police response were not injured, according to the AP.

About 130 sworn officers make up the force of the Whittier Police Department, according to the Times. The department is tasked with policing Whittier and Santa Fe Springs in southeastern Los Angeles County.

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