LOS ANGELES — A school police officer who reported getting shot in the chest — prompting the lock-down of 9,000 students during a dragnet — shot himself and has been arrested for filing a false report, authorities said. Officer Jeffrey Stenroos was arrested Thursday night over the hoax, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announced at a news conference Thursday.
During a hastily called news conference, LA Police Chief Charlie Beck said investigators processed more than 350 clues and talked to hundreds of people before concluding that the purported gunman who shot officer Jeffrey Stenroos was fictitious.
“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,” Beck said. “We go where our investigations take us — if it is to a suspect that is named in a crime or is to a law enforcement officer of another agency.”
Stenroos claimed that he was on patrol Jan. 19 outside El Camino Real High School in the wealthy Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills when he confronted a man who had been breaking into cars. He said the suspect tried to kill him.
The shooting prompted the largest area lock-down in history. Hundreds of officers from local, state and federal agencies vainly combed a seven-mile area looking for an armed gunman in his 40s with a long, gray pony tail.
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