Published: 02:10 BST, 15 September 2020 | Updated: 03:51 BST, 15 September 2020
The sheriff of LA County has challenged LeBron James to match the $175,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest of the Compton gunman.
The reward was swiftly offered following Saturday night’s ambush of two sheriffs deputies – one, a 31-year-old woman, the other a 24-year-old man. Both are in hospital in a critical but stable condition, and a massive manhunt is underway for the black gunman, aged 28-30.
On Monday Alex Villanueva, sheriff of LA County, appealed to the LA Lakers basketball star – an outspoken activist and supporter of Black Lives Matter – to match the reward money.
The LA board of supervisors offered $100,000, and an additional $75,000 was donated by two private individuals.
‘This challenge is to Lebron James. I want you to match that and double that reward,’ Villanueva said, speaking on KABC Radio, on the John Phillips Show.
‘I know you care about law enforcement. You expressed a very interesting statement about your perspective on race relations and on officer-involved shootings and the impact that it has on the African-American community.
‘And I appreciated that. But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across all professions.’
Video released by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department shows the moment the male suspect opened fire on two deputies at a Compton bus station
A gunman in Compton, LA, on Saturday evening shot two deputies sitting in their patrol car
‘And y’all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!! Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another black man being targeted,’ James wrote.
‘This s— [sic] is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE.’
FOX11 obtained a photo of the female deputy, who has not been named but was described as a 31-year-old mother of a six-year-old boy, covered in blood after she was shot in the jaw by the unidentified male gunman just before 7pm Saturday.
The photo is a still from a security camera that captured the deputy calling for help as she tended to her partner, a 24-year-old male, who was kneeling behind a pillar after he was also struck in the head.
Authorities said that the deputies, who both graduated from the police academy 14 months ago, each sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
Investigators are still working to determine the motive for the shooting, which they said occurred ‘without warning or provocation’.
He was wearing dark clothing at the time of the shooting and was last seen in a black four-door sedan.
Donald Trump on Sunday said the man who opened fire should face a ‘fast trial death penalty’ if the deputies die.
Speaking at a rally in Nevada on Sunday night, he said: ‘If you murder a police officer, you should receive the death penalty.’
To loud cheers, he continued: ‘I just saw a video of that animal who went up to the car. They were unsuspecting, fine people – very fine people.’
He earlier called the shooter an ‘animal’ who needed to be ‘hit hard’ as the FBI was called in to help investigate.
The president tweeted: ‘If they die, fast trial death penalty for the killer. Only way to stop this!’
He had retweeted his son Donald Jr. who shared the footage, writing: ‘Please pray for these two Sheriff Deputies. Their lives matter!!! #BlueLivesMatter.’
Joe Biden said: ‘This cold-blooded shooting is unconscionable and the perpetrator must be brought to justice.
‘Jill and I are keeping the deputies and their loved ones in our hearts and praying for a full recovery.’
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