Lebron James challenged to match reward to capture gunman who ambushed deputies

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers high five before the start of the game against the Houston Rockets in Game Five of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 12, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (NEXSTAR) — The Los Angeles County sheriff is challenging basketball megastar Lebron James to match reward money offered to capture a gunman who shot two of his deputies Saturday night.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva told KABC Radio he hoped James would double the reward of $175,000. It’s made up of $100,00 from the county and $75,000 from private individuals.

“I know you care about law enforcement. You expressed a very interesting statement about your perspective on race relations and on officer-involved shootings and the impact that it has on the African-American community,” said Villanueva.

A screen grab from a security camera video released the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shows a gunman walking up to sheriff’s deputies and opening fire without warning or provocation in Compton, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

Authorities were continuing the search for the gunman who opened fire on the deputies’ patrol car. The officers, a male and a female who graduated from the academy 14 months ago, are expected to recover.

Villanueva added he appreciates James’ thoughts on relations between Black people and the police but that, “we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across all professions.”

James has been quite vocal about issue of police relations with African Americans going as far as saying Black people are “terrified” over the issue of police misconduct.

To this point, Sheriff Villanueva is waiting to hear back from the Lakers star.

“Let’s see what he does. I’ll be very curious to see what his response is, if any,” he said.

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