On April 7 Daniel Christoph Yealu walked up to the desk officers in the east lobby of L.A. Police Department's Wilshire Division.
He was talking to the officers when he suddenly pulled out a gun and began firing shots. He shot one officer seven times, three in the vest and four in the extremities. Despite his wounds the officer, along with his partner, returned the gunfire, seriously wounding the assailant. Both the officer and the gunman were transported to the hospital. The officer, a seven-year veteran of the LAPD was saved by his bullet proof vest.
During the shooting, the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council (OPNC) was in the middle of their monthly meeting in LAPD's community room adjacent to the lobby. We contacted them for some comments and board member Daphne Brogdan generously offered TNN this community report:
"We were having our meeting per usual when out of nowhere I heard four shots. I knew without thought that it was a gun and it was right outside our door. There is no exit, but that hallway where the shooter was. I thought, "someone is mad at the cops and is trying to kill them." I jumped behind and to my right and hid inside a lectern.
Someone yelled, "Get down!" The firing continued. No one in our room screamed. Everyone got down. Later we learned the firing was also return fire from the police. I was terrified. I didn't know who was "winning." I thought of my children and how mad I was that some deranged person might take me away from my little children. I thought "this is not a movie and it's not stopping." I thought how mad my dad would be that I was in harm's way. I thought, the LAPD would probably get this guy before he can kill me because I was in the back of the room. But I worried for the people who were right by the door. I thought, "Oh, here we go, this is our mass shooting." Sadly, we've all heard about them.
When the shooting stopped, we were all quiet. The door opened. We didn't know if it was the police or the gunman. The door opened again. "Is anyone in here?" We were still quiet. Slowly I saw from behind the lectern my colleagues start to rise. I looked up. It was an officer. Thank God. "Is anyone hurt?" he asked. Another officer came in. I asked if the gunman was under control. They said yes, and they had to move us to look for bombs. I think like the Boston Marathon they expected a second "issue"
I couldn't move from my place for a while. I was petrified. I was shaking. I looked up and saw across from me a bullet had come into our room about four feet above my head cross the room
We were taken into the roll call room at Wilshire. The police were wonderful to us. Very comforting. Very understanding. I felt very close to my colleagues and other people who were in the room that night. I understand the band of brothers feelings. It helped to talk about it with them that night and later. It was traumatizing and I have had issues sleeping and am very sensitive to loud noises. I'm doing better, but I can't go back in there. I'm the new President of Longwood Area Neighborhood Association (LANA). We now meet at the library. I went back once. Didn't like it. Some who weren't there didn't want to meet there again either. Remember someone was shot at the Wilshire station last year ( from the outside). OPNC no longer meets there either."
Established in August of 2008 by writer, artist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.