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The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department hasn’t released the names or photos of the ambushed deputies, but told PolitiFact the female deputy was not at the scene following Guardado’s death.
Based on reporting by other outlets, she is not the same deputy seen in an Instagram photo.
On Sept. 12, a gunman walked up to a parked police car in Compton, Calif., opened fire on two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies, a man and a woman. The shooter ran away, and the deputies were taken to the hospital to treat their injuries.
The department has not released the deputies’ names. But users on social media went ahead anyway and connected one of the deputies to another deputy-involved shooting in June, without evidence.
On June 18, LA sheriff’s deputy Miguel Vega shot and killed 18-year-old Andrew Guardado after a confrontation at an auto repair business. Deputies and Guardado’s family dispute the details of the shooting and a criminal investigation is underway.
The posts on Instagram compare two screenshots: On the left, they say, are photos of a female deputy who some described as smirking at the scene of Guardado’s shooting. On the right is a grainy still from surveillance video of the female deputy who was shot in the patrol vehicle.
Warning: The following image contains graphic content.
Text above the images reads: "The same deputy who got shot through her jaw in Saturday’s shooting is the same officer that was seen on video laughing and smirking at the scene of security guard Andres Guardado’s death after he was shot and killed by LASD officers on June 18th, 2020."
"KARMA?" one Instagram post of the collage reads.
The posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
There is no evidence the images show the same woman, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department told PolitiFact that the ambushed female deputy was not at the scene following Guardado’s death in June.
"She for sure was not there," a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department told PolitiFact. "It was not her."
The department has not released the names or photos of the ambushed deputies. The department has said a 31-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were shot, and that the two deputies were sworn in about 14 months ago.
Some media reports have identified the ambushed deputy as a 31-year-old former librarian aide who graduated from LA’s deputy academy in July 2019. (We are choosing not to repeat her name since we have not confirmed it.) This timeline squares with the reported timeline of service for the deputies who were shot.
The Daily Mail spoke with the deputy’s father and published photos from her graduation ceremony. They show she is not the same woman who appears in the Instagram screenshot at the scene of the Guardado shooting.
We rate this post False.
Instagram post, Sept. 14, 2020
PolitiFact, Facebook post uses fake photo of ambushed LA deputy, says NFL honors anti-police protesters, Sept. 14, 2020
Reverse image searches, Sept. 15, 2020
CBS Los Angeles, ‘He Ran Because He Was Scared’: LASD Deputies Shoot, Kill Auto Body Shop Security Guard In Gardena, June 19, 2020
CNN, Los Angeles officials say it is a miracle deputies who were shot in Compton survived, Sept. 15, 2020
Daily Mail, EXCLUSIVE: Hero LA deputy mom, 31, who saved her partner's life after they were both ambushed in Compton by gunman is a former librarian who only graduated from the Police Academy last year, Sept. 15, 2020
Facebook, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Graduation - Class 437, July 2019
Phone interview, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, Sept. 15, 2020
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