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INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A gunman fired several shots at a pair of police officers, hitting one, and held two hostages for nearly nine hours — but all came away from the standoff without serious injuries.
The worst injury Wednesday occurred when an Inglewood policeman was shot in his bulletproof vest. He was taken to a hospital in good condition but "in a lot of pain, police Capt. James D. Madia said. He suffered blunt force injuries and was set to spend the night in another hospital as a precaution, police said.
The second officer in was not hit but was hurt when she fell down in the chaos that followed, Madia said. She was treated at a hospital and released.
The 45-year-old gunman and the girlfriend and her 14-year-old daughter that he held hostage in their house all came away unharmed, police said.
Nearly nine hours earlier, reports of a family disturbance sent the two officers to the home around 12:30 p.m., Madia said.
The man in the home shot at the arriving officers "before they could even get to the front door," Madia said. Officers returned fire, and a video aired on KABC-TV captured more than a dozen shots being fired.
Officers pulled their wounded colleague out of the line of fire, Lt. Oscar Mejia said.
Esther Frazier, who lives across the street from the standoff, said she was baking a cake for Thanksgiving when she heard a commotion and walked outside to see police officers banging on the door of the home.
She went back inside to turn off her oven when gunfire erupted.
"There were so many gunshots, oh my God, it was like you were in a war zone," she told the Los Angeles Times. "A shot came through the screen on my door.
"I am scared to death, I'm on my floor in the den," she said by telephone.
Police from Inglewood and neighboring communities, along with Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, swarmed the area and evacuated a block of homes.
Both injured officers have been with the department for at least a decade, Mejia said.
The gunman eventually began talking to negotiators and continued for several hours. At about 9:15 p.m., he released the hostages and walked out of his house with his hands up, police Lt. Mark Fried told the Daily Breeze.