City and police and fire groups ante up to catch gunman.
By Rick Orlov, Daily News Staff Writer | http://bit.ly/fkXWJ4
Updated: 01/21/2011 11:22:00 PM PST | A $100,000 reward is being offered to find the gunman who shot a Los Angeles Unified School District police officer near El Camino Real High School, resulting in a five-hour lockdown of schools in a seven-square-mile area of Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley.
<<A composite sketch of the suspect who shot Los Angeles School Police officer Jeff Stenroos Wednesday afternoon near El Camino Real High. (David Crane / Staff )
The Los Angeles City Council authorized a $75,000 reward and other contributions drove it up to $100,000, Councilman Dennis Zine said Friday.
"The uniform of the school police is nearly identical to that of LAPD," Zine said. "In this region, whether they are LAPD or school police, it represents law enforcement. When somebody shoots an officer, it is something we need to take very seriously."
LAUSD Police Officer Jeffrey Stenroos was on patrol Wednesday when he was asked by a passerby to investigate a man apparently trying to break into a car along Burbank Boulevard.
When Stenroos approached, the man - described as white and in his 40s, with a long gray hair ponytail - turned and shot him in the chest, officials said. Stenroos was wearing a bulletproof vest, but suffered bruising and was knocked down and hit his head.
As the gunman fled, passerby Michael Brodey took Stenroos' radio and called for help.
LAPD Deputy Chief David Doan said authorities believe the suspect is known by someone in the community and that any information would be helpful.
Tips can be called in to 877-LAPD247 (877-527-3247).
Assistant LAUSD Police Chief Jose Santome thanked the council for the reward.
"It takes an exceptional person to be a police officer and add in the layer of dealing with kids," Santome said.
The reward fund includes the city contribution as well as $5,000 each from the LAUSD Police Association, Los Angeles Police Protective League and the Retired Los Angeles Police and Fire Association, Zine said.