Downey, CA – Police have arrested two suspects in connection with the murder of off-duty Monterey Park Police Officer Gardiel Solorio.
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon announced on Wednesday that police had arrested two people in connection with the off-duty officer’s murder, according to KABC.
The alleged shooter, 20-year-old convicted felon Carlos Daniel Delcid, has been charged with attempted robbery, murder, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
The alleged getaway driver, identified only as a 17-year-old male, has also been arrested, KABC reported.
According to court documents, Delcid has racked up at least three other felony arrests in the past eight months alone, KABC reported.
He remained in jail for just one day after being arrested on Dec. 8, 2021.
Delcid was back behind bars on new felony charges on Jan. 20, but was turned loose again four days later, KABC reported.
He was arrested on Feb. 10 on five separate counts involving burglary and domestic violence, but was convicted on just two of those offenses.
Delcid was subsequently sentenced to 180 days in jail and four years of probation in that case on March 10, but he was released from jail the following day, KABC reported.
The fatal shooting of Officer Solorio occurred outside the Downey Landing mall located at 12070 Lakewood Boulevard at approximately 3:25 p.m. on Aug. 8.
Gascon said on Wednesday that investigators believe Officer Solorio was attempting to get away during an armed robbery attempt when Delcid allegedly shot him five times, according to KABC.
When the off-duty officer saw the armed suspect approaching his vehicle, he attempted to back away in his car and was fatally shot, Gascon said.
The gunman then fled the scene in another vehicle being driven by the 17-year-old suspect, according to investigators.
Downey police were called to the scene for a report of gunfire and located the wounded officer.
Investigators said it appeared Officer Solorio was inside or near a black Dodge Charger when the attack occurred, KABC reported.
The wounded hero was provided with first aid, but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“This extraordinary case, given the circumstances, we’ll be seeking life without the possibility of parole,” Gascon confirmed on Wednesday, according to KABC.
Monterey Park Police Chief Kelly Gordon said during a press conference on Tuesday that Officer Solorio grew up in Bell Gardens and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at California State University prior to joining the department as a recruit in January, KABC reported.
He had just graduated from the law enforcement academy on July 22, and began his field training three days later, according to KTTV.
“He really wanted to make an impact on the community,” Chief Gordon said, according to KABC. “His classmates shared that Officer Solorio had all the characteristics of a great officer. He was humble, dedicated, selfless and hardworking, but even a better person.”
The chief said Officer Solorio’s friends and family “described him as tough as nails,” but that he was still “a kid at heart.”
Officer Solorio was the youngest of 13 children, according to a fundraising campaign established to help his family in the wake of their loss.
He is survived by his fiancé, parents, and siblings, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“His dream of becoming a police officer after years of hard work and dedication had finally come to fruition, when life was abruptly taken away due to a senseless act of violence,” the fundraising page read. “He was taken from his family way too soon. He was and has always been true American success story. He was a first generation college graduate, and the first [in] his family to become police [officer] and brother in law Enforcement.”
Officer Solorio’s friend, Gabriel Ortega, said everyone who knew him “knew he was destined for bigger things,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
“You couldn’t not love the guy,” Ortega added. “He was proud of the work he was doing. He was really excited… It’s just a tragedy that his life was taken so short.”
A procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted the slain officer’s body from the mall parking lot to the coroner’s office shortly before 11 p.m. on Monday, KABC reported.