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Los Angeles — A Los Angeles police officer was shot and wounded late Monday night as gunfire erupted in the Watts section of the city, authorities said.

The shooting occurred around 11 p.m. PDT in the Nickerson Gardens public housing project.

The Southeast Division police station said officers were searching the area for suspects.

Police did not provide further details on the injured officer, but the Los Angeles Times reported that the officer was struck in the left arm and was expected to survive.

It quoted Deputy Police Chief Bill Scott as saying the officer was conscious and rushed to a hospital.

Sgt. James Linder told the paper that police apparently “stumbled into a shooting in progress and a gun battle ensued.”

The paper initially reported about an arrest, but later said a civilian was also struck by gunfire.

The Southeast Division station said it couldn’t confirm media reports that a civilian was killed.

The shooting comes with officers around the country on alert following the targeted killings of police this month in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck last week announced he was taking extra precautions to better protect officers.

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