Sheriff's sergeant dies after being shot in Lancaster; 1 in custody

(KTLA) A sheriff's sergeant has died after being shot while responding to a residential burglary call, and a suspect was taken into custody after a 1 1/2-hour search that prompted a shelter-in-place order at Antelope Valley College.

In an afternoon news conference, authorities announced that 53-year-old Sgt. Steve Owen had died at the hospital.

"We lost a brave sergeant today," sheriff's Executive Officer Neal Tyler said.

The shooting occurred at 12:35 p.m. in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7, according to Deputy Mike Barraza with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Lancaster Station.

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Sergeant shot dead after responding to home burglary
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Sergeant shot dead after responding to home burglary

The area is a couple blocks north of the Antelope Valley College campus, and a SWAT team and dozens of deputies could be seen responding to a residential area there.

A sheriff's SWAT team responds near where a sergeant was shot in Lancaster on Oct. 5, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Preliminary information indicated a deputy was struck by gunfire and taken to a hospital in unknown condition, Barraza said.

He later said a sergeant and a deputy were both shot. That information was later corrected, with sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida saying only a sergeant was shot.

Aerial video just after 2 p.m. showed a man coming out of the back door of a home and lying down on the pavement in the backyard, next to a pool. Apparently in response to deputies' commands, he walked to the side of the home and taken into custody at the front of the home's garage without incident, Sky5 video showed.

A man is taken into custody in Lancaster after a sergeant was shot on Oct. 5, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Nishida confirmed about 2:15 p.m. that one person was in custody and no suspects were outstanding.

Owen's wife, a sheriff's arson/explosives detective, was able to get the hospital before Owen died, Tyler said. His adult son and daughter, as well as his mother, were also able to get to the hospital, he said.

Owen had been a sergeant with the Lancaster Station for five years, Tyler said.

The sergeant was shot in the face, Lancaster's mayor told the Los Angeles Times, which reported the sergeant and a deputy were responding to a burglary call.

A man surrenders after a sheriff's sergeant was shot in Lancaster on Oct. 5, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Richard Licon confirmed a gunshot-wound patient was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital. An "officer down" was reported by the Sheriff's Department, Licon said.

Students at Antelope Valley College took to Twitter to report hearing gunshots in the noon hour.

Just after 1 p.m., the college warned people on campus to shelter in place or avoid the area due to an "armed suspect in vicinity."

KTLA's Jennifer Thang contributed to this article.

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