Walnut Park, CA – Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer Fernando Arroyos was murdered in an attempted armed robbery while hunting for a home with his girlfriend Monday night, according to police.
Officer Arroyos, 27, was off-duty Jan. 10 after a stretch of days on patrol, LAPD Chief Michel Moore 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.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (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 County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the search for Officer Arroyos’ killers is still ongoing, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We know we need the community’s help,” Chief Moore told reporters outside the hospital. “But we also have every faith and confidence that we’ll be identifying the person or persons responsible for this terrible act and this grievous loss.”
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 had “a very promising career” in his future, according to the paper.
He was assigned to the LAPD’s Olympic Division at the time of his murder, KTTV reported.
“Today we grieve the loss of a young officer who was murdered while off duty,” the LAPD said in a statement. “As we mourn his tragic loss, we ask that you keep his family and partners in your thoughts and prayers.”
A police procession escorted Officer Arroyos’ body from the hospital to the coroner’s office early Tuesday morning, KTTV reported.
“Tonight, we mourn the loss of one of our officers who was shot & killed in an armed robbery attempt. The officer was off-duty,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League tweeted early Tuesday morning. “We pray for the officer’s family, and their fellow officers, during this time of pain and sorrow.”
In addition to his girlfriend, Officer Arroyos also leaves behind his mother, father, and his stepfather, KABC reported.
“He was the only child who had a promising future. A bright future that was taken away viciously over a street robbery,” Chief Moore said. “We know that there are people out there who are responsible for this, and I am absolutely convinced in our discussions with investigators that we will identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for this murder.”
Today we grieve the loss of a young officer who was murdered while off duty. As we mourn his tragic loss, we ask that you keep his family and partners in your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/fj8ScZ4dDn
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) January 11, 2022
Tonight, we mourn the loss of one of our officers who was shot & killed in an armed robbery attempt. The officer was off-duty. We pray for the officer’s family, and their fellow officers, during this time of pain and sorrow. This is an active investigation. More info to follow. pic.twitter.com/6xpiAXjr5W
— LAPPL (@LAPPL) January 11, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Los Angeles Police Department Officer Fernando Arroyos, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.