Two Los Angeles police officers are in a critical condition after being shot in what police are calling an ambush.
Video of the incident shows a figure approach the officers’ vehicle, before opening fire and running away.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva called the act “cowardly”. The suspect remains at large.
Almost 40 US police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2020, FBI statistics show – eight of them were victims of an ambush.
Protesters shouted anti-police slogans and blocked the entrance to the emergency room where the two officers are being treated, police and witnesses said.
Two people were arrested, including a journalist who police said tried to interfere with the arrest of the other detainee and did not identify herself as a member of the press.
The reporter, Josie Huang, tweeted she had “thoughts and videos” to share, while her employer, NPR, said they were “appalled” by her arrest.
‘A sombre reminder’
The officers involved in the shooting have not been named, but have been described as a 31-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man.
“One male deputy and one female deputy were ambushed as they sat in their patrol vehicle. Both sustained multiple gunshot wounds and are in critical condition. They are both currently undergoing surgery. The suspect is still at large,” LA County Sheriffs tweeted.
“This is just a sombre reminder that this is a dangerous job. Actions, words have consequences and our job does not get easier because people don’t like law enforcement,” Sheriff Villanueva said.
Both candidates in this year’s presidential election weighed in on the shooting.
Sharing the footage of the incident, US President Donald Trump, tweeted: “Animals that must be hit hard.”
His Democratic rival, Joe Biden, said he was praying the officers recover.
“This cold-blooded shooting is unconscionable and the perpetrator must be brought to justice,” he tweeted. “Violence of any kind is wrong; those who commit it should be caught and punished.”