Four people have now been arrested in connection with the shooting death of an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer, authorities said Wednesday.
The officer, 27-year-old Fernando Arroyos, a three-year veteran of the LAPD, was shot about 9:15 p.m. Monday in an apparent exchange of gunfire with as many as three armed robbery suspects in the unincorporated Firestone-Florence neighborhood in the 8700 block of Beach Street. He died at a hospital.
Following the crime, five suspects were detained Tuesday for questioning — and four of those have now been arrested, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is handling the investigation into the killing.
“We’ve been working around the clock on this case … working hand-in-hand with LAPD,” L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday morning.
Referencing the arrests, he added, “Going to bring some people to justice.”
The names of the four suspects were not immediately released, nor was information on the status of the fifth suspect who had been detained for questioning.
Arroyos was assigned to the LAPD’s Olympic Division, according to the department. An only child, he is survived by his mother, father and stepfather.
“He had a promising future, a bright future, that was taken away viciously over a street robbery,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said.
Authorities said Arroyos was in a car with his girlfriend and exited the vehicle when the confrontation occurred with the three suspects, and the officer is believed to have exchanged gunfire with the assailants. It’s unclear if any of the suspects were struck. The officer’s girlfriend was not injured.
Authorities received a report of a second man suffering from gunshot wounds a few miles away from the scene of the shooting. The man was taken to a hospital and treated for his injuries, though investigators had yet to determine if the man’s injuries were related the shooting in the 8700 block of Beach Street.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, appearing at an LAUSD back-to-school event Tuesday morning, said Arroyos was a son of immigrants. The mayor said Arroyos was with his girlfriend at the time of the attack, looking for their first home.
“My heart is broken. Our city’s heart is broken, and certainly our LAPD family’s hearts all grieve,” Garcetti said. “I spoke with his mother, who’s an immigrant, last night, at the hospital and stepfather. … And because this happened outside the city of Los Angeles, the sheriff’s department is taking the lead on all investigations, with very strong support from our Robbery-Homicide officers as well.
“And so I just want to send my love again to the family, to the LAPD family,” he said. “This man died a hero trying to defend himself and his girlfriend.”
Earlier Tuesday, Moore told reporters that authorities recovered the officer’s handgun and a firearm believed used by a suspect in the crime.
“We do believe that we have an officer-involved shooting here, that our officer exchanged gunfire with at least one of these suspects,” Moore said. “We do have our officer’s gun, and we have an additional weapon that we believe was responsible for this assault. … We know that we need the community’s help, 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.”
Shortly before daybreak on Tuesday, the officer’s body was taken in a procession of vehicles from St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood to the Los Angeles County coroner’s facility near downtown Los Angeles.
“Tonight, we mourn the loss of one of our officers who was shot (and) killed in an armed robbery attempt,” according to a tweet from the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers. “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.”
Anyone with information was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.