SAN DIEGO – An outpouring of support for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was posted to social media following the death of a veteran sergeant Wednesday.
Both San Diego Police Department and San Diego County Sheriff's Department were mourning the loss of Sgt. Steve Owen, who died after being shot in the face by a burglary suspect. They took to Twitter and tweeted the following condolences:
A veteran sheriff's sergeant has died after being shot while responding to a residential burglary call, and a suspect was taken into custody after a nearly two-hour search that prompted a shelter-in-place order at Antelope Valley College.
In an afternoon news conference, authorities announced that 53-year-old Sgt. Steve Owen had died at the hospital.
"We lost a brave sergeant today," sheriff’s Executive Officer Neal Tyler said.
The shooting occurred in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7, according to Deputy Mike Barraza with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lancaster Station.
Owen and a deputy responded in separate vehicles to a burglary call that came in a little after noon, according to sheriff's homicide Capt. Steven Katz. The deputy heard gunfire come from the rear of the home, and ran around back to find Owen shot.
The shooter fled and the deputy ran after him to the front of the home, where the deputy fired at the suspect. The gunman jumped into Owen's patrol vehicle, put it into reverse and rammed the deputy's vehicle, Katz said. The deputy fired again.
The suspected shooter then got away on foot and went into another home, where two teens were home alone. They were able to contact law enforcement and say that the man was inside their house, Katz said.
The sheriff's Special Enforcement Bureau responded, sending a special weapons team into the home. Authorities believed the teens' lives were in danger, a captain with the bureau said.
The suspected shooter exited the back of the home while the team got the teens out of the house. The suspect was then taken into custody by Lancaster Station deputies.