Off-duty deputy shoots bear that charged at his family near La Verne, officials say

- Bears roaming a hillside neighborhood above La Verne are a common sight.

“It seems like they’re the king of the neighborhood,” resident Max Lopes said.

Lopes has taken several videos of bears he sees weekly.

“It seems like they’re not scared of anything at all,” he said.

That could be why one bear tried to attack an off-duty sheriff’s deputy and his kids on Tuesday night.

Wildlife officials said it happened outside a home on Live Oak Canyon Road when the deputy spotted three bears going through a trash can. The bigger bear, weighing an estimated 400 pounds, tried to attack.

“Initially the bear was not real aggressive just kind of stayed in place and the deputy backed off and tried to get the kids safe and make some loud noises,” Lt. Andrew Berg of the LA County Sheriff’s Department said. “After he got 30 or 40 feet from the bear, it started to walk towards him and then charged toward him.”

Berg said the deputy fired four shots at the bear who took off into the woods.

Wildlife officials are now searching for the injured bear and warning neighbors it could still be in the area.

“We have bears all the time, but there’s nothing to fear because we keep a respectful distance,” a neighbor said.

“The frightening thing is that it was so aggressive that it seemed to be attacking towards the children and that is very unusual,” Berg said.

Wildlife officials believe the bear is still alive and want to find it in case it needs medical attention.

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