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Los Angeles deputy who claimed he was shot by a sniper 'made it up'

Angel Reinosa (21) made a frantic radio call on Wednesday claiming he’d been shot by someone in a nearby building.

Lancaster, California
Lancaster, California
Image: WikiCommons

AUTHORITIES IN LOS Angeles have said a Sheriff’s deputy who claimed he was shot in the shoulder by a sniper actually used a knife to cut two holes in his shirt.

“The reported sniper assault was fabricated” by Deputy Angel Reinosa, Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon said at a news conference yesterday. 

Reinosa (21) made a frantic radio call on Wednesday claiming he’d been shot by someone in a nearby building as he walked to his car outside the Lancaster station, prompting a huge police response.

Deputies set up a perimeter and SWAT officers went door-to-door inside a sprawling building complex to search for the shooter.

At the time, investigators believed Reinosa’s bulletproof vest saved his life but that a bullet grazed him. A department statement the next day said a single round hit the top of Reinosa’s shoulder, damaging his uniform shirt but failing to penetrate his flesh.

Yet no bullets were recovered from the scene and detectives saw “no visible injuries,” Capt. Kent Wegener said.

Much of the young deputy’s statement “was self-serving and didn’t make a whole lot of sense,” Wegener said. “There were many things that didn’t add up.”

Reinosa eventually admitted making up the story and using a knife to cut the two holes in his shirt, Wegener said.

Reinosa has been relieved of his duties and could face charges for filing a false report about a crime, officials said. He didn’t explain his motive for the fabrication, Wegener said.

Reinosa has been with the LA County Sheriff’s Department for a year and joined the Lancaster station in May for patrol training.

Deputies searched through the night for the sniper inside the block-long, four-story structure with many windows that overlook the sheriff’s facility in downtown Lancaster, a desert city of about 160,000 people north of Los Angeles.

Tactical teams worked their way through the building, evacuating some people and having others shelter in place.

Deputies cleared other nearby buildings, including a library. Authorities urged residents to avoid the neighborhood.

Metrolink train service was also halted in the area.

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Associated Press

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