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2 California Police Officers Murdered While Responding To Possible Stabbing At Motel

El Monte, CA – Two El Monte police officers were murdered in the line of duty while responding to a report of a possible stabbing at a local motel on Tuesday evening.

The fatal encounter occurred at the Siesta Inn near Central Avenue and Garvey Avenue shortly before 5 p.m. on June 14, KABC reported.

Officers responded to the motel after receiving a report of a possible stabbing and located a male suspect inside one of the rooms, according to police.

But as they were dealing with the suspect, gunfire erupted inside the motel room.

The shooter fled out into the parking lot, where he again exchanged gunfire with the officers, according to police.

The unnamed gunman was fatally wounded during the shootout and was pronounced dead at the scene, KABC reported.

Police said the 35-year-old suspect was “well known” by local police and that he had dozens of convictions on his criminal history, according to KNBC.

Two El Monte police officers – a rookie officer with less than one year on the force and a veteran officer with over 20 years of service – were rushed to Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center in the wake of the attack.

The officers were both pronounced dead at the hospital, KABC reported.

A woman involved in the initial call for service was uninjured during the incident and was being interviewed by detectives.

Investigators recovered the firearm at the scene that they believe the suspect used in the shooting, KABC reported.

The identities of the slain heroes have not been released, nor has the identity of the gunman.

El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona said the officers were “acting as a first line of defense for our community members when they were essentially ambushed while trying to keep a family safe,” KABC reported.

“Heartbroken doesn’t begin to express the loss we feel,” Ancona added, according to KNBC.

El Monte Interim Police Chief Ben Lowry said the officers who were killed were loved by those who knew them, KABC reported.

“They were good men. They paid the ultimate sacrifice, serving their community trying to help somebody,” Chief Lowry said. “Today, they were murdered by a coward and we are grieving and that hurts.”

The El Monte Police Department, the City of El Monte, and the El Monte Police Officers Association released a joint statement about the deadly shooting on Tuesday night, KABC reported.

“There are no words to describe our grief and devastation by this senseless act as we learned about the passing of two of our police officers,” the statement read, according to KABC. “It weighs heavy on our hearts and we are sending our support to their families. We would also like to thank the El Monte community and our surrounding government agencies for the outpouring support we have received in the last few hours.”

The officers’ bodies were escorted from the hospital to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office by a procession of law enforcement vehicles at approximately 11 p.m. on Tuesday, KABC reported.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau is handling the ongoing investigation into the deadly shooting with the assistance of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to KNBC.

This is a developing story and we will keep you updated. For all of our updates, follow us on Facebook and go to your news feed preferences under your settings, then select that you want to see more of The Police Tribune’s posts in your news feed. Otherwise, Facebook may not show you updates.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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