Salinas, CA – A Salinas police officer was murdered in the line of duty while conducting a traffic stop late Friday night, according to investigators.
The attack occurred in the area of Griffin Street and East Market Street at approximately 10:41 p.m. on Feb. 25 as 30-year-old Salinas Police Department (SPD) Officer Jorge David Alvarado was conducting a traffic stop, the police department said in a press release.
The stop ultimately erupted into a shootout, SPD spokesperson Miguel Cabrera said during a press conference, according to The Sacramento Bee.
“The officer stayed in the fight all the way to the end,” SPD Chief Roberto Filice told reporters on Saturday. “Ultimately, he paid the price for it. He gave his life for it.”
Chief Filice said Officer Alvarado’s actions during the deadly attack helped his fellow officers to arrest the gunman, The Sacramento Bee reported.
Investigators did not release information about the events leading up to the shooting or the identity of the suspect.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Officer Alvarado served the SPD for two years and previously served the Colma Police Department for three years, California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press release on Sunday.
He was also a U.S. Army veteran.
“The police department lost a son but the community lost a hero,” Chief Filice told The Sacramento Bee.
Officer Alvarado was the first SPD officer to die in the line of duty in nearly 80 years, according to Salinas Mayor Kimbley Craig.
Craig said the SPD and the community are devastated and she urged residents to stand up in support of local law enforcement.
“They are hurting, and they need to know our community supports them,” the mayor told The Sacramento Bee.
Officer Alvarado leaves behind his mother and fiancé, according to Newsom.
The governor ordered flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Officer Alvarado’s service and sacrifice.
“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Officer Jorge Alvarado’s family, friends, coworkers and the community of Salinas as they mourn his loss in a senseless act of violence,” Newsom said. “Officer Alvarado died a hero and his selfless sacrifice while protecting the community he served will always be remembered.”