LAPD: Man accused of shooting officer at station had applied for LAPD job

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Update 5:03 p.m. 

The man accused of shooting at officers at an LAPD station Monday night had applied to be a Los Angeles police officer, LAPD Commander Andy Smith confirmed to KPCC. 

“Obviously, we did not hire him,” Smith told KPCC. 

Smith said he doesn’t know when accused shooter Daniel Christopher Yealu applied and could not share further details.

Update 2:40 p.m.: Police say they found several guns inside accused gunman's apartment

Neighbors say a resident who matches the description of the man accused of shooting at officers at an LAPD station was a loner who did not speak to them.

Police said Daniel Christopher Yealu, 29, entered the station on Venice Boulevard at about 8 p.m. armed with a handgun. After a brief conversation, he fired at two officers in the lobby of the station, police said. One officer was hit several times and they returned fire, striking the gunman, police said.

Yealu was in a hospital Tuesday listed in critical condition. The officer who was struck in the upper torso is also in the hospital and in good condition. His name has not been released. He has been described as a seven-year veteran. The other officer was described as a four-year veteran of the force.

Investigators are still looking for a motive.

Related: LAPD officer shot, wounded in West LA station gun battle

Three neighbors at the apartment that public records list as Yealu’s home address described seeing a man who resembles Yealu living there, but they did not know him by name.

The neighbors said they saw cops enter the apartment at about 10:30 p.m. Monday night.

One neighbor said that about a month ago everyone at the apartment building got a new toilet. But the man in Yealu’s unit would not let anyone inside.

"He would never talk to anyone," said Gabriel Almodovar. "Looks at no one, talks to no one."

Public records also show Yealu had a license to work as a security guard starting in 2005 and a license to carry a firearm starting in 2007.

Police initially said a bulletproof vest protected the officer that was struck. It now turns out he was not wearing the protective gear. The officer credits his backup pistol with deflecting one of the rounds and it may have saved his life, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday

LAPD investigators said they found an assault rife in Yealu’s vehicle and a search of his home yielded five more weapons and dozens of rounds of ammunition.

At the time of the shooting, there was a neighborhood council meeting inside the station. Attendees took cover under desks upon hearing the gunfire, people in attendance said. At least one bullet penetrated the wall where the meeting was being held, sending debris into the room, they said. A photo of the bullet hole can be seen in the photo slideshow above.

No one at the meeting was hurt.

Yealu was arrested at about 1 a.m. Tuesday and later booked in absentia into the L.A. County Jail on an unspecified felony charge, according to a jail website. Bail has been set at $2 million.

11:19 a.m.: LAPD: Officer survives gun battle despite lack of bulletproof vest; suspect identified (updated)

A Los Angeles Police Department officer who was shot several times while working at a station Monday night returned fire to stop a gunman who walked into the lobby and opened fire. The suspect was taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said. The suspect was identified late Tuesday morning as Daniel Christopher Yealu, 29.

LAPD officials say the gun battle was at about 8:30 p.m. Monday. The officer was shot several times in the upper torso and extremities, but was described as being in good spirits following the shooting. He may need surgery to remove a bullet or parts of a bullet in his shoulder. 

Police had earlier stated that the officer was wearing a bulletproof vest, which turned out to be incorrect. The police had also earlier said the officer was shot seven times, but they have backed off that figure.

"We in fact found out later that after he was interviewed, he was not wearing [a bulletproof] vest, making this even a more miraculous incident," said LAPD Media Relations Sgt. Barry Montgomery. "That officer is still in good condition and at this time we are very fortunate that we have him with us."

Police found a semi-automatic rifle with ammo in the vehicle they searched Monday night that police believe belongs to the suspect. Police are still investigating a motive for the shooting and only described the gunman as a male with a handgun.

LAPD tweeted the following Tuesday morning:

There's about 25 feet from the door to the desk the officer was at, according to police. The station had a sergeant and one desk officer. The door to the station is usually locked at 6 p.m.

There was a community meeting happening at the station on Venice Boulevard, about seven miles west of downtown Los Angeles, Commander Andy Smith said.

The station was also the site of a shooting last year in which an unknown shooter opened fire at two police officers in the parking lot. The officers suffered minor injuries.

RELATED: ‚ÄčUpdate: No arrests, no suspects detained after 2 LAPD officers shot at in a.m. ambush

The officer is described as a seven-year veteran, who also helped protect the life of his partner. His partner is a female officer who's a four-and-a-half-year veteran.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the following statement:

"I've spoken by phone with the LAPD officer who was shot tonight at Wilshire Station. He is doing well and is in good spirits.  I wish him a speedy recovery."

Jose Ramos, who lives in the neighborhood, remembers the last time there was a shooting at the station. He told KPCC that he was frustrated because he was locked down and wasn't able to go out following the shooting in June. He was kept shut in his home by police for about five hours.

"It kind of worries me. I live across the street and it's so close to the house that you never know," Ramos said.

Terrance Jones, who lives nearby, described what he saw during the shooting last June.

"We heard some shots, pow pow pow, like that. I jumped and went to my son's side bedroom window and we looked over and we saw ... the officers in the car exchanging gunfire with someone who was all in black," Jones said.

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