Monday 16 September 2019

Policeman made up story about being hit by sniper

A sheriff's department helicopter with a sniper in an open door searching for a gunman at large in Lancaster, California. Photo: KABC-TV via AP
A sheriff's department helicopter with a sniper in an open door searching for a gunman at large in Lancaster, California. Photo: KABC-TV via AP

Alan Martin

A US policeman has been suspended after claiming he had been shot by a sniper in a car park.

"The reported sniper assault was fabricated" by police deputy Angel Reinosa, Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon said.

Mr Reinosa (21) made a frantic radio call last Wednesday claiming he'd been shot by someone in a nearby building as he walked to his car outside the police station in Lancaster, north of Los Angeles

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 Mr 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 Mr Reinosa's shoulder, damaging his uniform shirt but failing to penetrate his flesh.

But no bullets were recovered from the scene and detectives saw "no visible injuries", Captain Kent Wegener said.

Much of the young deputy's statement "was self-serving and didn't make a whole lot of sense", Capt Wegener added. "There were many things that didn't add up."

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

The policeman has been relieved of his duties and could face charges for filing a false report about a crime. He didn't explain his motive.

Deputies searched in vain through the night for the sniper before calling off the search on Thursday, authorities saying the shooter was still at large.

Irish Independent

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