“Essentially, they were ambushed trying to save family safe,” said El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona.
The officers were identified Wednesday as Corp. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana.
The officers responded to call About possible knife wounds at the El Monte Motel, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said, which leading investigation.
When the officers arrived, “they ran into a suspect and there was a shooting involving an officer,” Sheriff’s Department Captain Andrew Meyer said. “The suspect escaped from the hotel room to the parking lot and second there was a shooting with the participation of officers. Two officers from the El Monte Police Department and a suspect were shot at.”
The two officers were taken to LAC+ USC Medical Center, where they died. of their injuries. Meyer said none of the victims appeared to have been stabbed, but authorities are investigating. The suspect has been identified dead on the stage.
A suspect named Justin Flores was out of jail on probation at that time of Shooting, according to a source in Los Angeles District Attorney office.
In 2021, Flores pleaded guilty to charges of criminal in possession of firearms, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer Ricardo Santiago said. in statement.
“The sentence he received in The firearms case was consistent with case decisions for this type of an insult given it criminal history and nature of crime,” Santiago said, adding that Flores had no documented history of violence at the time of his sentence.
Flores criminal history dates back when he was convicted of robbery of his grandparents home more than 10 years ago, resulting in in strike, Santiago said.
The officers had close ties with community
Both Paredes and Santana grew up up in El Monte and “had a strong connection with community they served,” the ministry said. in statement.
Paredes survived his wife, daughter and also son and spent all my 22-year career with El Monte Police Department.
Santana started his career in El Monte Public Works Department and worked for several years with San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department joining El Monte police force. He survived his wife, daughter and twin sons.
The mayor said both officers are deeply committed to protecting community.
“These two officers were like family in our community with close ties with our neighborhoods,” Ancona said.
“One of our officers have been raised in El Monte, went through our schools and was happy to be a part of of El Monte Police Department, where he can serve and protect family and friends. Another dead officer was new the officer patrolling our streets is glad to be on in force.”
The mayor said that both officers also fathers.
“These men were devoted to their careers and even more so as sons, husbands and fathers,” said Ancona. “We stand in solidarity with them, hug them and their families.”
El Monte’s interim police chief said the officers killed were heroes.
“These two men were loved. They were good men”said Interim Police Chief Ben Lowry.
“They paid ultimate sacrifice yourself in the service of your community by trying help somebody. They make with hundreds of thousands of men as well as women do every day in the United States. … And these two heroes paid the price ultimate victim.”
Ray Sanchez of CNN, Stephanie Becker and Sheri Mossberg contributed to this report.