US & Canada

LA policeman who said sniper shot him 'made it up'

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Media caption"I'm hit in the right shoulder": Listen to Mr Reinosa's call to say he'd been shot

Authorities in Los Angeles say a sheriff's deputy who claimed he had been shot by a sniper actually cut two fake bullet holes in his uniform with a knife and made the whole thing up.

Police launched a massive manhunt last Wednesday after Angel Reinosa called in to say he was pinned down by gunfire.

"I'm taking shots from the north of the Lancaster helipad, I'm hit in the right shoulder," said a frantic Mr Reinosa.

"My shirt's ripped to the right. I think it's from the apartment window."

Mr Reinosa has been relieved of his duties and is facing a criminal investigation.

'Things didn't add up'

Police launched a massive manhunt, focusing on the apartment building cited by 21-year-old Mr Reinosa. A SWAT team and armoured vehicles blocked off roads around the building and officers searched through the night for the alleged sniper. The deputy was taken to hospital.

"He is doing great, thankfully," Sheriff's Captain Todd Weber said at the time. "The wound was minor and he's been treated and he's doing well, in high spirits."

The only problem was, there was no wound. Mr Reinosa has now admitted fabricating the sniper fire and using a knife to cut two fake bullet holes in the shoulder area of his shirt.

It was not immediately clear why it took so long to notice that Mr Reinosa had not suffered any wounds.

"There were many things that didn't add up," said Sheriff's Captain Kent Wegener, adding that the deputy's account of events "didn't make a whole lot of sense".

He said the deputy had "failed to provide information regarding his motivation for this act".

Mr Reinosa had been with the Sheriff's Department for a year and joined the Lancaster station in May for patrol training, the LA Times reported.