Trump says gunman who opened fire on LA County deputies 'must be hit hard!'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE on Sunday called for the gunman who shot two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies to "be hit hard."

The president retweeted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s video of the Saturday incident, in which a gunman walks up to a police car and shoots into it before running away.

“Animals that must be hit hard!” the president posted. 

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In a separate tweet, Trump said should the deputies die, the gunman deserved the death penalty through a "fast trial" as the "only way to stop this!"

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The Sheriff’s Department reported on Twitter that one male and one female deputy were ambushed in the vehicle in Compton, Calif. Both were listed in critical condition and had undergone surgery. As of Sunday morning, the suspect is still at large, according to The Associated Press.

Capt. Kent Wegner said during a press conference that the suspect came up behind the vehicle and walked along the passenger side, acting like he would walk past the car. The gunman then raised a pistol and shot multiple times into the car, he said. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the shooting was conducted in a “cowardly fashion.”

"This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement," Villanueva said. "It pisses me off, it dismays me at the same time. There's no pretty way to say it."

The shooting of the Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies comes as the country has erupted in protests over the police-involved deaths of Black people, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The demonstrations have been mostly peaceful, but several have led to violence and looting. 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said on Twitter that some people were protesting and blocking the entrance and exit of the hospital emergency room chanting, “We hope they die.” Two were arrested at the hospital demonstration.

The president has framed himself as a staunch defender of law enforcement, calling for a law and order response to the protests and crimes. 

The shooting also follows violence against police in St. Louis and Chicago late last month.