Black male executed wounded white officer while standing over him

Cheryl Sanders
October 9, 2016

Trenton Trevon Lovell is arrested on October 6, 2016, shortly after he allegedly fatally shot sheriff's Sgt. Steve Owen in Lancaster. "He's somebody who was the epitome of what it is to be a peace officer".

He had been through far worse, such as the time three years ago when he and other deputies faced off against an armed man who had taken a driver hostage.

Case MA069699 also charges Lovell with one count each of attempted murder with an allegation that he used a patrol auto as a deadly and risky weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon with priors, and two counts each of first-degree residential robbery and false imprisonment by violence with a knife use allegation.

The suspect - who was reported to have a "hot temper" - had a lengthy criminal record and a history of violent offenses, according to court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

A deputy who was injured - but not shot - apparently when the suspect tried to commandeer the fallen sergeant's patrol vehicle, was also taken to a hospital, according to the sheriff's department.


Lovell is accused of shooting Owen, then standing over him and firing four more bullets into his body.

As deputies sealed off the neighborhood, the gunman ran to a house where a teenage boy and girl managed to hide and use a cell phone to text sheriff's deputies, authorities said.

The suspect then ran to the front of the location and attempted to commandeer the sergeant's patrol vehicle, prompting a deputy to open fire, Katz said.

In light of all the controversy over recent shootings of black men by police, McDonnell was asked if Lovell, who is black, may have shot in self-defense. He held the two teens at knifepoint, the DA's office alleged. Special Enforcement Bureau officers were able to get the teens safely out of the home before the suspect was taken into custody. His wife, Tania, is a detective in the Sheriff's Department's arson and explosives detail. One of Owen's adult sons and his stepdaughter, as well his mother, also were at his bedside, Tyler said.

Owen, a 29-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department and a Medal of Valor recipient, was a well-known sergeant who volunteered as a football coach in the community.


The 53-year-old sergeant was struck by gunfire and transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

When a residential burglary call came in just after noon on Wednesday, Owen was the first on the scene.

At Antelope Valley Hospital, dozens of sheriff's deputies gathered to pull for Owen and then to mourn his death.

The LA County Board of Supervisors requested flags at all county buildings to remain lowered at half-staff for a "true hero who died while serving his community". Steve was killed in the line of duty protecting a community in which he was deeply embedded. Sgt. Steve Owen was one the best-known deputies throughout the entire Antelope Valley region.


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