LANCASTER, Calif. – A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sergeant died after being shot during a deputy-involved shooting in Lancaster, authorities said.
The department identified him as Steve Owen, 53, a 29-year veteran of the department who had spent the last five years at the Lancaster Station.
Owen and another deputy had responded to a burglary call around noon in the 3200 block of West Avenue J7, sheriff’s officials said. The area was contained and during the containment gunfire was heard in the back of the location.
The deputy at the front of the complex ran in the direction of the gunfire and found Owen suffering from a gunshot wound. The suspect then fled the area on foot, ran to the front of the home and attempted to steal Owen’s patrol car, according to authorities.
The suspect put the car into reverse, ramming the second patrol car, which resulted in a second deputy-involved shooting, authorities said.
Authorities said the suspect then fled from the area on foot and ran into another home with two teens inside. Special Enforcement Bureau officers were able to get the teens safely out of the home before the suspect was taken into custody.
Capt. Steven Katz said the suspect, who is on active parole, may have suffered a gunshot wound to his upper body and was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment. A weapon was also recovered.
During an afternoon press conference, where authorities released the news of Owen’s death, Katz said the sergeant was a prolific member of the department.
“It’s a very difficult time, as you can imagine, for the many members of our department. We’re all suffering,” he said.
Owen was a Meritorious Conduct Medal, Gold recipient and his wife was a sheriff’s arson explosives unit detective. Katz said that Owen’s wife, his adult son and daughter, and his mother were able to see him in the hospital before he died.
Authorities said Owen went above and beyond with youth activities and the community during his time in the Antelope Valley.
“Steve was doing what many, many, many deputies and police officers countrywide, nationwide are going to be doing today and tonight,” said Neal Tyler, executive officer with the department.
During the search for the suspect, Antelope Valley College, AV SOAR High School on the college campus, Lancaster High School and West Wind Elementary School were all placed on lockdown. Amargosa Creek and Nancy Croft elementary schools were on soft lockdowns.
Authorities said no other suspects were at large. The investigation was ongoing.