Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Lancaster Sheriff's Deputy Steve Owen Killed in a Burglary/ Hostage Situation

The man was arrested after a 2 hour barricade situation. Owen was mourned by the entire community.


October 8, 2016

A burglary suspect shot and killed LA County Sheriff Sgt. Owen on Wednesday. The man was arrested after a 2 hour barricade situation.

Wednesday afternoon, Los Angeles County Sheriffs Sergeant Steve Owen and his partner responded to a 911 from a woman who said there was a burglary in progress at an apartment building in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7.

Owen, a sheriff for 29 years, went to the back of the house. There, Trenton Lovell, 27 pulled out a pistol and shot Sergeant Owen in the face. He then stood over the sheriff, and pumped 4 more rounds into him, executing him. Lovell then searched Owen's body unsuccessfully for the stricken Sheriff's weapon, apparently intending to use it to shoot the next set of First Responders who arrived.

A second deputy arrived on scene and found the man who had entered Sergeant Owen's patrol vehicle and was attempting to drive off with it. At that point, a deputy-involved shooting occurred. The suspect then rammed the assisting deputy's patrol vehicle head-on before running from the scene.

The suspect entered a different house occupied by two teenagers. The terrified kids called the sheriff's department and said that the suspect was inside their home.

Already on scene, a special weapons team from LASD'S Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) made entry to protect the lives of the teenagers who were in danger. As SEB made entry, the suspect ran out the back and the teenagers were safely rescued.

The suspect ran and climbed over a wall, but was taken into custody. He was struck by gunfire in the upper torso and transported to a local hospital, then booked. He is believed to be from the general Antelope Valley area.

"This has been a very dark day for the LA County Sheriff's Department," Capt. Steve Katz said.

"We're all suffering now. His family certainly is suffering, his law enforcement family is suffering. It doesn't get worse than this," Katz said.

The 53 year old sergeant was struck by gunfire and transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Owen's wife, an Arson/Explosives expert with the LASD, and his two adult children were by his side at the hospital when Owen succumbed. A five mile long column of cars, including civilians and police, escorted Owen's body from Lancaster to the Downtown LA Coroner.

"The tragedy of a deputy sheriff such as Sergeant Steve Owen making the ultimate sacrifice has a massive impact on the whole law enforcement family. We all mourn together and our hearts go out especially to Steve's immediate family Tania, a detective at Arson/Explosives Detail, his two adult sons Brandon and Chad, a step-daughter Shannon and his mother Millie." said LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell

Whenever a Deputy Involved Shooting occurs involving Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies and it results in the wounding of a suspect, multiple independent investigations immediately begin at the scene. These include separate investigations by the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau and Internal Affairs Bureau.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department immediately notifies the Office of the Inspector General who sends a representative to the incident scene and provides independent oversight throughout the investigative process. The mission of the Office of Inspector General is to provide strong, independent and effective oversight of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and to ensure transparent, accountable and constitutional policing for the County of Los Angeles. The Critical Incident Review panel convenes to perform a preliminary risk management analysis of the shooting.

A burglary suspect shot and killed LA County Sheriff Sgt. Owen on Wednesday. The man was arrested after a 2 hour barricade situation.

This panel is comprised of the concerned chief and unit commander, risk management and training personnel, the chairperson of the Executive Force Review Committee, and a representative from the Office of the Los Angeles County Counsel. Every aspect of a Deputy-Involved shooting is ultimately evaluated by the Sheriff's Executive Force Review Committee, which determines whether there are any policy, tactical, supervisory, or training violations or concerns. The Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney also participates in the investigatory process and conducts a legal analysis of the shooting.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the "P3 MOBILE APP" on Google play or the App Store, or by using the website


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