"A calculated execution." That’s what Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell called the shooting death of Sgt. Steven Owen.
Owen, 53, was shot to death while responding to a reported burglary on Oct. 6. The alleged perpetrator was Trenton Trevon Lovell, a 27-year-old a parolee with a long history of arrests, The Associated Press reports.
Lovell is accused of shooting Owen, then standing over him and firing four more bullets into his body.
The incident occurred at an apartment building in Lancaster, California. After Sgt. Owen was dead, Lovell “searched the body for the sergeant's weapon, with the intent to use it to murder the first responding deputy,” according to Sheriff McDonnell.
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Lovell allegedly pointed a gun at a responding deputy and was shot in the shoulder by the deputy before stealing Owens' patrol car. He later abandoned it and ran into a house, where SWAT team members forced him out the back and arrested him.
Lovell was treated for his wound and remained jailed without bail.
In light of all the controversy over recent shootings of black men by police, McDonnell was asked if Lovell, who is black, may have shot in self-defense. The sheriff replied: “This is an individual that was certainly the aggressor, somebody who is truly a predator, and not somebody who was defending himself in any manner.”
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Lovell has been arrested a dozen times and has served two state prison sentences, McDonnell added. The suspect is currently on parole following a six-year prison sentence stemming from 2009 for the armed robbery of a USC community safety officer, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In 2014, Sgt. Owen was one of several Lancaster deputies who received Sheriff's Department medals for meritorious conduct. The award was given after the deputies apprehended a gunman in a bulletproof vest who had taken a driver hostage and used him as a human shield.
As Owen's body was escorted from Los Angeles to Lancaster, officers stood at attention on a flag-draped overpass when the hearse drove by.