Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Markus “Mookie” Betts has spoken out condemning the weekend ambush of two LA County Sheriff’s deputies, saying his prayers are with the officers and calling for justice in the shooting.
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“I am angered and disappointed by the ambush of the two LA deputies in Compton,” one-time MVP Betts tweeted Wednesday. “My prayers are with both deputies. #JusticeForAll”
Authorities are still searching for the gunman who was caught on surveillance video opening fire on the two deputies while they sat in their patrol cars on Saturday. According to Fox News:
Officials have offered a $300,000 reward for information that leads authorities to the gunman who ambushed the deputies. The reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the brazen shooter has ballooned by more than $200,000 with the help of public and private donors.
The ambushed officers were both hospitalized in critical condition due to the injuries they sustained in the shooting. LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced Wednesday that one of the deputies was released on Wednesday, but still “has a long road ahead for recovery.”
The deputy who remains hospitalized has been identified as Claudia Apolinar, a former librarian and the mother of a 6-year-old boy. She has been hailed a hero for applying a tourniquet to her partner to save his life in the moments following the attack, despite the fact that she herself had just been shot in the face and several times in torso.
According to the LA County Sheriff’s Office, protestors attempted to block the entrance to the hospital when the deputies were rushed there for emergency surgery, yelling, “We hope they die.”
The attack comes after months of ongoing protests across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd, that have often descended into rioting, looting, arson, and calls for defunding the police. Every major sports league has advocated for social justice during the movement, and several athletes and teams have boycotted games to protest police brutality.
One of the most outspoken athletes has been LA Lakers star LeBron James, who tweeted last month that black men are “being targeted” by the police in reaction to the shooting of a man who became involved in an altercation with police after officers responded to call that he allegedly committed sexual assault.
Sheriff Villanueva challenged James earlier this week to meet or match the reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect who ambushed the deputies. James has remained silent on the shooting.