2 California officers ID'd after fatal shootout at motel
The officers were investigating a possible stabbing at the motel
Duty Death: Michael Paredes and Joseph Santana - [El Monte, California]
End of Service: 06/14/2022
The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) has established a fundraising campaign to help support the families of slain Cpl. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santan. Donate here.
EL MONTE, Calif. — Officials on Wednesday identified the two police officers who were killed in a shootout the day before while investigating a possible stabbing at a suburban Los Angeles motel. The suspect also died at the scene.
The city of El Monte said in an Instagram post the officers were Corporal Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana.
The officers, a veteran of more than 22 years and a rookie with less than a year on the job, went to the Siesta Inn in El Monte, east of Los Angeles, around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
Mourners on Wednesday morning left bouquets, wreaths of flowers and candles outside the El Monte police station to honor the fallen officers, whose names have not been made public.
The officers “confronted the suspect” and gunfire erupted inside a motel room, Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide Capt. Andrew Meyer said at a news conference Tuesday night. He said the gunman then fled into the parking lot where more gunfire was exchanged.
Meyer said he didn't know whether the officers were shot inside the motel or outside. They died at a hospital. The alleged gunman was shot and died at the scene.
El Monte interim Police Chief Ben Lowry called the officers heroes.
It is with heavy hearts that The City of El Monte & The El Monte Police Department announce the passing of Corporal Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana. Corporal Paredes & Officer Santana were killed in the line of duty, while faithfully carrying out their sworn duties 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/wIzwjy6Iga— El Monte PD (@elmontepolice) June 15, 2022
“These two men were loved," Lowry said. “They were good men. They paid the ultimate sacrifice, serving their community trying to help somebody."
“Today, they were murdered by a coward and we are grieving, and that hurts," he said.
El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona said the officers died “while trying to keep a family safe.” Meyer said investigators were interviewing a woman from the hotel who they believe was the suspect’s girlfriend. She wasn't stabbed, he said.
Other details weren’t immediately released.
The killings came just one day after a California Highway Patrol officer was shot and critically wounded during a traffic stop in the Studio City area of Los Angeles.
The 27-year-old officer was shot several times. He was in critical but stable condition at a hospital but was expected to recover, the CHP said.
A bloodhound helped police track down a suspect and Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi surrendered to police Tuesday morning in a homeless encampment in the Van Nuys area of the San Fernando Valley, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.