© 2016, American Physical Society. All rights reserved. The dynamics of electron acceleration driven by laser wakefield is studied in detail using the particle-in-cell code WARP with the objective to generate high-quality electron bunches with narrow energy spread and small emittance, relevant for the electron injector of a multistage accelerator. Simulation results, using experimentally achievable parameters, show that electron bunches with an energy spread of ∼11% can be obtained by using an ionization-induced injection mechanism in a mm-scale length plasma. By controlling the focusing of a moderate laser power and tailoring the longitudinal plasma density profile, the electron injection beginning and end positions can be adjusted, while the electron energy can be finely tuned in the last acceleration section.