Two El Monte Police Department officers were shot and killed Tuesday, and a suspect also died of gunshot wounds at the scene of the shooting.
The shooting occurred about 4:47 p.m. in the area of Garvey Avenue and Central Avenue, near the San Bernardino (10) Freeway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which was assisting El Monte police with the investigation.
The officers were responding to a possible stabbing at the Siesta Inn, officials told ABC7.
At a press conference Tuesday night, LASD Homicide Bureau Capt. Andrew Meyer said, “Officers arrived on scene where they confronted the suspect, and an officer-involved shooting occurred.
“The suspect fled the hotel room into the parking lot, and a second officer-involved shooting occurred,” Meyer said, before confirming that two officers and the suspect were struck by gunfire.
The officers were taken to LA County-USC hospital, where they died from their injuries, while the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, Meyer said.
Events leading up to the shooting were under investigation.
Police and sheriff’s deputies swarmed the area of the shootout, and Meyer said “at least 20 investigators” were at the crime scene Tuesday night interviewing witnesses and attempting to locate surveillance video that may have recorded the shooting incident.
“These two heroes paid the ultimate sacrifice today, and they were murdered by a coward,” El Monte Police Capt. Ben Lowry, who is the acting chief of police, said at the press briefing outside LAC+USC Medical Center. “We are grieving and it hurts, but we really want to express our appreciation to the surrounding cities who have been here to support us. … Please keep these officers’ families in your prayers.”
El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona said, “Heartbroken doesn’t begin to express the loss that we feel. … As our officers do on a daily basis they were acting as a first line of defense for our community members when they were essentially ambushed while trying to keep a family safe.”
Officials said the the officers had deep ties to the El Monte community, and Ancona described them as “sons, husbands and fathers.”
Field Deputy Antonio Chapa read a statement from LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis: “We are prepared to provide resources to (the officers’) families. The sacrifice of these public servants to keep our communities safe will never be forgotten.”
Officials did not release the names of the officers killed or the deceased suspect pending notification of their families.
Lowry said one of the officers was a 22-year veteran of the force, while the other had been with the department for less than a year.
No other suspects were identified in the shooting, Meyer said.
Updated June 14, 2022, 10:45 p.m.