El Monte Officers Killed on Duty
Two El Monte police officers were shot and killed while responding to a stabbing at a motel on Tuesday.
The officers responded to a call at the Siesta Inn some time during the late afternoon. Shots were fired at around 4:47 p.m. Two officers and the suspect were hit by gunfire. The suspect died at the scene, where a firearm was recovered. The officers died at a nearby hospital.
“Heartbroken doesn’t begin to express the loss that we feel,” said El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona. “They were acting as the first line of defense for community members when they were essentially ambushed while trying to keep the family safe.”
The officers have been identified as Cpl. Michael Paredes, 42, and Officer Joseph Santana, 31.
“They grew up here; to us, they’re El Monte homegrown,” said Ancona. “They’re our boys.”
The suspect, Justin Flores, had a criminal history that included burglary and vehicle theft. His wife Diana says the two officers died while trying to save her from her husband.
"I'm so sorry. They didn't deserve that. They were trying to help me."
The shooting happened just one day after a California Highway Patrol officer was shot during a traffic stop in the LA community of Studio City. That officer is expected to survive.