The suspect in Monday night’s shooting at an LAPD station in Los Angeles dreamed of being a police officer and possessed a frightening arsenal of assault weapons — including one in his car when he entered the LAPD station and opened fire on two front desk officers with Glock handgun at about 8:30 pm.
In what LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called “truly a miracle,” one of the officers was shot seven times, but survived only because a potentially fatal bullet struck an extra pistol that the officer kept in a chest pocket. The officer was not wearing a bulletproof vest when he was shot.
The officer, whose name was not made public, was hospitalized but “in great spirits” Tuesday, said Beck, who credited the officer with saving the life of the second officer by firing back at the LAPD shooter.
The alleged LAPD shooting suspect, 29-year-old Daniel C. Yealu, was employed as a security guard and possessed a firearms license. However, according to a Los Angeles Times report both the gun license and Yealu’s license to work as a security guard were listed by the state as “canceled.”
The Times reporters did not find a reason as to why the LAP shooter would have had his licenses canceled.
The father of the LAPD shooting suspect, 58-year-old Danny Yealu, said that his son hoped to become a police officer and had applied to the LAPD Police Academy last year.
The shooting suspect was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the two officers and remained in critical condition Tuesday. Police had no idea what motivated him to carry out the LAPD shooting, which took place at a police station near the intersection of Wilshire and La Brea Boulevards in Los Angeles.
But based on the number of powerful weapons found the LAPD officers who searched Yealu’s car and home, they believe that he may have intended to carry out a large scale massacre.
However, he entered the LAPD station armed only with a single handgun — though he was carrying extra magazine of ammunition with which he could have reloaded the weapon had he not been felled by the LAPD officers returning fire.
“By the grace of God, the suspect did not come in with the assault weapons that he has had access to, one of which I believe was in his vehicle parked right out front,” said Beck.
“The belief was he was going to go a lot further than just the two people at the front desk,” added Steve Soborhoff, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission.
Police found what they described as a “heavily modified” AK-47 assault rifle in Yealu’s vehicle. When they searched the home of the LAPD shooting suspect, they found even more deadly weaponry. Those weapons included a semi-automatic Sig Saur handgun, an AR-15 assault rifle, an SKS model assault rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.