LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police officer accused of shooting a fellow officer during an off-duty, weekend camping trip had served in the U.S. Army for 21 years, his lawyer said Monday.
Ismael Tamayo, 44, of Ontario was expected to be arraigned Tuesday on an attempted murder charge. He was being held in a San Bernardino County jail on $1 million bail and has been relieved of his police powers as an investigation continues.
The 48-year-old victim was shot early Sunday in his upper body in the desert south of Barstow, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said. He was flown to a hospital in stable condition and was expected to survive. It’s unclear why he was shot.
An off-duty police supervisor was with Tamayo and the victim on the camping trip. The supervisor was not injured.
Authorities say the three friends were camping and shooting guns at Stoddard Wells Off-Highway Vehicle Area about 120 miles (194 kilometres) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Stoddard Wells, which offers off-road trails on federal Bureau of Land Management property, is open during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a phone recording at a number listed for the site.
Tamayo has been deployed overseas several times during his career in the military, according to his attorney, Gregory Yacoubian.
“We are cooperating with authorities and we are confident that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing once the facts are made known,” Yacoubian said in a statement. “We ask that due process be allowed to run its course and that the privacy of Ismael and his family is respected.”
Police Chief Michel Moore said an administrative investigation will be done into the incident that gives him “great concern.”
“I am committed to determining what and how this occurred,” Moore said in a statement.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, said it was pleased with the injured officer’s recovery.
“We support a thorough investigation of this event to determine the facts and to hold anyone appropriately accountable if found to have violated the law or department policy,” the board of directors said in a statement.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department declined to release additional details about the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation.