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A California police officer was shot and killed while responding to a wreck

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A police officer was killed and another was injured Monday while responding to a wreck in Whittier, California around 8 a.m. 

The two officers were responding to a crash involving a stolen car and were shot by an unnamed suspect after approaching his vehicle, according to Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. 

"When they got the call, it was just a traffic accident and they didn't know what they had," Corina told ABC News. "When they went to contact him that's when the shooting happened."

Authorities have not yet released the slain officer's name. The wounded officer is currently in stable condition, ABC News reports. 

"It's extremely tragic," Corina said.  "You just never know when officers respond to a call what they are going to run into."

Police returned fire and wounded the suspect, but have not released his name or condition. Corina said authorities believe the suspect is a known gang member. 

Law Enforcement Fatalities in 2017
Law Enforcement Fatalities in 2017

It is still unclear what led the suspect to open fire on the officers. 

"We're still looking into that," Corina said. "We believe the car he was in has come back as a stolen car so that I'm sure is one of the reasons."


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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