I woke up this morning at about 4:30 a.m. here in West Los Angeles with the sound of a helicopter hovering overhead. This is not unusual. I am a couple of blocks from a police station and about a mile from Interstate 10. Police and traffic helicopters are a common occurrence. But unlike what I usually hear, they didn’t disappear after a few minutes.
When I got out of bed an hour later they were still around and surprisingly loud. I took my dog, Xander, for a walk and saw five of them hovering overhead. Then I discovered my neighborhood was blocked by police cars on all sides, about an eight block radius I’d estimate. (It turns out the total blockade is much, much bigger)
I encountered my first officers while walking Xander. They told me I had to go home. A police officer was shot and the neighborhood was on lockdown. I asked if I would be allowed to leave to go to work. He said no. I asked if this was legal. He said it was.
So I decided to see what would happen if I tried to leave. I took a different route out and came across another blockade. This police officer told me that three officers were shot and I was not allowed to leave. I again asked if this was legal and by what grounds they could keep me from leaving. Again they insisted it was. He turned me around. I thought I’d try one more time at another intersection. This third officer was remarkably rude, acting on the assumption that I already knew there was a lockdown (which I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t tried to leave already). This officer said there was an active shooter in the neighborhood. When I asked if I wouldn’t be safer then if I were allowed to leave, the officer became very agitated and ordered me to turn around. I’m fairly sure I was about five seconds from being arrested.
So I went home and called the local police station, which is within walking distance from my house (not that I could actually walk there now because it’s on the other side of the blockade). The officer I talked to was polite, explained that an officer was shot early this morning and that the shooter is still active and believed to be in the neighborhood. I was supposed to remain at home for my own safety and the lockdown was supposed to protect me to keep me from encountering this shooter. I pointed out to him that I didn’t even know there was a shooter or a lockdown until I reached the border and wouldn’t it be safer for me (and the police) if I were allowed to leave. Apparently not.
So I’m trapped in my apartment in my neighborhood where somebody here shot a police officer. Or three. Or two, which is what the local Fox station just reported. This is for my own safety. I am not allowed to leave. This is also, somehow, for my own safety.
Here’s some local reporting on the incident. Fox news just reported another arrest, so hopefully the lockdown will end soon. Apparently it was right outside my local police station. Fortunately nobody was killed. I’d probably be hiding Xander in a closet in the event the police come knocking had anybody been killed.
UPDATE: Police officials have said the alleged shooter is still apparently at large and the lockdown will last until at least noon. The only description they have is a black man in early 30s dressed in all black.
UPDATE: The lockdown finally ended at around 2:30 p.m. with no sign of any arrest in the press.