A Los Angeles Unified School District police officer who reported being shot last week by a burglary suspect which later led to the lockdown of nine schools for hours, has been accused of filing a false report, authorities said.
Officer Jeffrey Stenroos was arrested Thursday night, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announced at a news conference Thursday.
"The current state of the investigation refutes Stenroos' initial account of the incident and we are now certain there is no outstanding suspect in this shooting," Beck said at the news conference.
Stenroos said he was shot while he approaching a car burglary suspect near El Camino Real High School in the San Fernando Valley on Jan. 19.
More than 300 officers searched the neighborhood where the reported shooting occurred as nine schools within seven square miles of the area were put on lockdown.
Stenroos was transported and treated at a hospital for a "bruise to the head and other minor injuries," ABC News Los Angeles affiliate KABC reported at the time.
Previously, officials had said his bulletproof vest saved his life. Officials released a composite sketch of the alleged suspect and also offered a $100,000 reward for information on the suspect.
The alleged shooting happened a day after another unrelated school shooting at a high school in the city of Gardena which left two students wounded when a gun inside a backpack discharged.
Outrage and Disgrace
Residents in the impacted neighborhoods were outraged to hear about latest developments in the case Thursday night.
"You had kids that were having to go the bathroom in buckets in a closet in front of their friends basically," parent Maria Simon told KABC. "All these schools that were on lockdown from the elementary schools to the high school kids…getting the kids out. It was such a horrific day."
Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber released a statement late Thursday night reacting to allegations against Stenroos.
"The law enforcement community is disgusted upon learning that Mr. Stenroos filed a false police report and apparently may have shot himself. His lies set into motion the largest search for a suspect in recent history and inconvenienced thousands of people for hours," Weber said in the statement. "While Mr. Stenroos is a disgrace to the badge, his individual and dangerous actions should not reflect on the hard working men and women in law enforcement. On behalf of all in law enforcement, we want to apologize to the public that a police officer would intentionally betray all of our trust. If these allegations are proven true, Mr. Stenroos is now where he belongs, behind bars."
Beck would not elaborate whether they believe Stenroos shot himself and offered no further information.
"We go where these investigations take us," Beck said at the news conference. "if it is to a suspect that is named in a crime or is to a law enforcement officer of another agency."