Later: KPCC reports that the two Latino males suspected of shooting at an undercover Rampart detective may not have known they were shooting at an officer.
"Our belief is that it was a random shooting," Officer Norma Eisenman told KPCC.
An early report from City News Service (see below) says the narcotics detective had followed the suspects' tan SUV beforehand.
Earlier: An undercover officer conducting a narcotics investigation suffered a graze wound Thursday morning when he was shot in a leg by a gunman being followed by police in the Westlake district of Los Angeles.
Police later detained about 20 people as possible witnesses, authorities said, though none were arrested.
The shooting happened at the intersection of Virgil Avenue and Fourth Street around 3 a.m., said Sgt. Dominic Counts of the Los Angeles Police
Department's Olympic Station.
The officer was in a vehicle with another officer.
They were following an SUV with at least two suspects inside in the area of Fourth Street and Virgil Avenue, Counts said, adding that he believes the officer was at the wheel when he was hit.
The officers lost sight of the suspects and were making a U-turn when the SUV appeared and someone inside fired one shot that went through the driver's side door of the police vehicle and grazed the officer's left leg, Counts said. The officers did not return fire, he said.
The officer was treated at the scene by paramedics and released, Counts
said. The suspect vehicle was located a short time later, abandoned near the shooting scene, he said.
Police set up a perimeter in the area and were searching for the gunman and his accomplice.
About 20 people were detained as possible witnesses, and were bused to a police station for questioning, an officer said.