House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer vociferously denounced the shooting in cold blood of two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in Compton, California, over the weekend.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the assassinations of two officers in Los Angeles,” Mr Hoyer, the No 2 House Democrat, told reporters on Tuesday.
The Maryland Democrat said it was disgusting to hear reports of protesters shouting, “I hope you die,” as the deputies were taken to a local hospital.
“We need to engender respect for our police,” Mr Hoyer said.
The deputies are now in stable condition at a local hospital in Southern California, several media outlets have reported.
The two deputies — a 31-year-old mother and a 24-year-old male — were shot at close range at 7pm on Saturday in Compton. Although they were shot multiple times during the ambush while their vehicle was parked, the officers were able to radio for help.
After being shot clean through the jaw from point-blank range, the female deputy was still able to radio for help and apply a tourniquet to her partner, likely saving his life, officials said.
“There’s no other way to put it: They’re amazing,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Authorities have not identified any suspect.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released a surveillance video of the ambush, and it showed a lone gunman shooting through the passenger window of the deputies’ vehicle “without warning or provocation,” according to the department.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said both deputies were out of surgery and expected to survive, which he called a “double miracle.”