Los Angeles, CA – The four suspects charged in connection with the murder of Los Angeles Police Officer Fernando Arroyos are all affiliated with the Florencia 13 (F13) Latino street gang, police revealed Thursday.
Officer Arroyos, 27, was fatally shot during an armed robbery as he was house-hunting with his girlfriend on Jan. 10.
Police said the suspects targeted him because of the two silver necklaces he was wearing, KABC reported.
Two women and three men were detained by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) detectives for questioning in connection with Officer Arroyos’ death, LASD Homicide Bureau Captain Joe Mendoza revealed Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Capt. Mendoza said investigators were also looking into a possible connection with the shooting of another victim found wounded in the same neighborhood where the off-duty officer was killed.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced during his weekly livestreamed information briefing on Wednesday that four suspects had been arrested in connection with Officer Arroyos’ murder, KABC reported.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles announced charges against those individuals on Thursday.
They have been identified as 34-year-old Jesse “Skinny Jack” “Flaco” Contreras, 22-year-old Ernesto “Gonzo” Cisneros, 29-year-old Luis Alfredo “Lil J” De La Rosa Rios, and 18-year-old Haylee Marie Grisham, KABC reported.
Investigators said the three male suspects are all F13 gang members.
Grisham, who is Rios’ girlfriend, is considered to be an F13 associate, KABC reported.
They have been federally charged with violent crime in aid of racketeering.
All four suspects are scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon, KABC reported.
Sheriff Villanueva said detectives took the case to federal prosecutors because Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon previously vowed to stop utilizing gang enhancements.
Considering the “depravity” of this case, the sheriff’s office believed harsher punishment should be considered, KABC reported.
Instead of finding a new home with his girlfriend last night, LAPD Police Officer Fernando Arroyos was murdered in an attempted armed robbery. He was off-duty. A life full of promise, taken by cowards. RIP Officer Arroyos. pic.twitter.com/5yzi6dAFat
— LAPPL (@LAPPL) January 12, 2022
Officer Arroyos was off-duty Jan. 10 after a stretch of days on patrol, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Michel Moore previously told the Los Angeles Times.
He joined up with his girlfriend in the Walnut Park area that evening because the two of them were “on a hunt for a house, a place to live, a place to buy and invest in the city and in the future of this region,” Chief Moore said.
The fatal attack occurred near the intersection of Beach Street and 87th Street at approximately 9:16 p.m., KABC reported.
The couple had just gotten out of their vehicle and was heading across the street to look at a residence when three suspects in a black pickup approached them, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“The officer yelled for his girlfriend to leave to run to go back to the car,” Chief Moore said.
Investigators said the suspects got out of the truck just before an argument erupted, KABC reported.
Officer Arroyos was shot during an ensuing exchange of gunfire with the suspects, police said.
Chief Moore said one of the gunmen dropped a firearm before fleeing the scene.
“We do have our officer’s gun, and we have an additional weapon that we believe was responsible for this assault,” he confirmed, according to the Los Angeles Times.
LASD deputies responded to the scene and loaded Officer Arroyos into a patrol car, KABC reported.
They rushed him to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, but he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he spoke with Officer Arroyos’ mother and stepfather at the hospital shortly after the attack, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Garcetti said the three-year LAPD veteran “died a hero trying to defend himself and his girlfriend.”
“My heart is broken. Our city’s heart is broken. And certainly, our LAPD family’s hearts all grieve,” the mayor told the Los Angeles Times. “Tonight, Los Angeles grieves.”
Chief Moore said Officer Arroyos was an only child, and that he had a promising, bright future “that was taken away viciously over a street robbery,” KABC reported.
He was assigned to the LAPD’s Olympic Division at the time of his murder, KTTV reported.