Gunman killed El Monte law enforcement officials seconds after they entered room - l. a. times

The rookie and his training officer knocked on the door of an El Monte hotel room, the place they'd been called to investigate a report of home violence.

as soon as they acquired the victim out of the room, Officer Joseph Santana went in, followed by means of his training officer, Cpl. Michael Paredes. Justin Flores, the person inner, backed himself into the bathing room, legislations enforcement sources informed The times.

within about 12 seconds, one supply noted, Flores ambushed the officers with gunfire. Paredes went down first. Coroner's officers mentioned both officers died of a gunshot wound to the top.

The killings brought grief and heartache to the suburb east of downtown L.A., where both officers grew up and chose to live as first responders. "They're El Monte homegrown," Mayor Jessica Ancona mentioned this week. "They're our boys."

A man embraces a young girl as another man closes his eyes with an an   guished expression

El Monte cops react to an emotional speech Friday with the aid of Olga Garcia, mother of 31-yr-historic Joseph Santana, certainly one of two officers killed in a capturing this week.

(Wesley Lapointe/l. a. times)

The horrific details in regards to the moments that led as much as the killings and the wild shootout that adopted emerged Friday as friends and family of the officers gathered to mourn. The sources who described the s cene asked to remain anonymous as a result of they had been not authorized to talk publicly.

The incident began around four:30 p.m. Tuesday when Paredes and Santana, along with an unidentified sergeant, replied to the Siesta inn, a single-story stucco lodge in El Monte.

After Paredes and Santana went down, the legislation enforcement sources stated, Flores ran out of bullets and took a gun off one of the fallen officers. He left the room firing at the sergeant.

Flores ran out right into a car parking zone, where other responding officers engaged him in a shootout. Flores — who became 6 toes 2 and about 300 pounds — fell to the floor however endured to fireplace on the officers. He then shot himself because the officers moved in, the sources referred to.

Flores died at the scene. Coroner's officers have not determined which photographs killed him.

Paredes and Santana were taken to L.A. County-USC medical core, where they were mentioned useless.

A information conference Friday afternoon outdoor the El Monte Police branch began with a moment of silence for the fallen officers.

Ron Danison, president of the El Monte police union, referred to as the two officers his brothers. "Cpl. Paredes and Officer Santana did not reveal up for work these days. I expected to look them going for walks into the doors of the station with their smiles," Danison spoke of. "That didn't take place nowadays; instead I'm standing right here making an attempt to make sense of the unthinkable."

Two high school students tape paper rose to the memorial at the El Monte Police Department.

Sisters Anisa Robles, 17, left and Frankie Robles, 16 students at Mountain View excessive school, tape tissue paper roses below memorial wreaths at the information conference backyard the El Monte Police department.

(Wesley Lapointe/l. a. times)

Paredes all started as a cadet with the branch and in July 2000 became sworn in as a full-time officer. he is survived by using his spouse, daughter and son. Ancona, the mayor, noted that he "went through our El Monte faculties" and was "excited to be on the drive."

Santana, a graduate of El Monte excessive, served for three years as a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy before transferring to the El Monte Police department less than a 12 months in the past. earlier than joining legislations en forcement, he became a metropolis renovation employee in El Monte for six years. He's survived by means of his spouse, daughter and twin boys.

His mother, Olga Garcia, remembered her son as a "remarkable father, an excellent husband, an outstanding American citizen and a lovely son."

An El Monte resident hangs a rosary on one of the many wreaths at a growing memorial for two El Monte police officers.

An El Monte r esident hangs a rosary on one of the many wreaths at a growing memorial for 2 El Monte police officers.

(Wesley Lapointe/la times)

"As a mom, my life has been destroyed. Joseph became murdered through a criminal that should still were in penitentiary," she observed. She went on to criticize Dist. Atty. George Gascón for policies she mentioned prioritize criminals over law enforcement officials.

The times this week said that Flores may have faced drastically more time in penitentiary when he was remaining charged with a criminal offense. files reviewed by means of The instances showed that one in every of Gascón's most closely criticized policies probably resulted in a lessen sentence.

In 2020, Flores turned into charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and methamphetamine.

He had been convicted of housebreaking in 2011. Burglaries are "strike" offenses, which make suspects charged with later crimes eligible for harsher senten ces. Flores' earlier conviction skill he had one strike towards him when he was charged in 2020.

but the prosecutor assigned to the case case, Deputy Dist. Atty. Larry Holcomb, wrote in a disposition report that he needed to revoke the strike allegation after Gascón took office and barred prosecutors from submitting strikes. Gascón's coverage became later deemed illegal by an L.A. County sophisticated court choose.

Flores pleaded no contest to being a felon in possession of a firearm and changed into sentenced to two years' probation and 20 days in jail; he might have faced up to three years in penitentiary for the gun charge. on the time of this week's shooting, he changed into nonetheless on probation.

A day before the taking pictures, Flores' probation officer filed a request in court for a revocation hearing, record the reason as "desertion." Two legislation enforcement sources generic with the investigation pointed out his lady friend pronounce d he had assaulted her last week, triggering a probation violation, however Flores became now not taken into custody. A listening to was set for June 27.

requested why Flores wasn't arrested on the violation, Karla Tovar, a spokeswoman for the county Probation department, said the company become "presently investigating the matter extra."

times group of workers author James Queally contributed to this document.

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