Los Angeles police officer Jeff Stenroos has been arrested for a shooting hoax that prompted a massive man hunt. Authorities say Stenroos’ claim that he was shot in the chest by a man near San Fernando Valley’s El Camino High School on January 19 is false.
“The current state of the investigation refutes Stenroos' initial account of the incident and we are now certain that there is no outstanding suspect in this shooting," said city Police Chief Charlie Beck.
Stenroos apparently shot himself by accident. His bullet proof vest protected him from being wounded by the bullet. The 30-year-old’s claims sparked an hours-long lockdown of 9 schools in the San Fernando Valley area. Police released a sketch of the alleged gunman, which Stenroos described as being in his 40s and having long brown hair, and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest. More than 350 police officers and sheriff’s deputies searched for the gunman.
“His lies set into motion the largest search for a suspect in recent history and inconvenienced thousands of people for hours,” said Paul Weber, the president of the police union that represents officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Stenroos has been charged with one felony count of filing a false police report. He has not commented.
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