EL MONTE, Calif. - On Wednesday, city officials in El Monte identified the two officers who were killed during a shootout near a motel while protecting and serving in the community they were proud to call home.
The two officers were identified as Corporal Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana.
"It is with heavy hearts that the city of El Monte and the El Monte Police Department announce the passing of Corporal Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana," according to a city statement.
"Corporal Paredes and Officer Santana were killed in the line of duty ... while faithfully carrying out their sworn duties. Both officers responded to a possible stabbing at the Siesta Inn where they were immediately taken under gunfire. The two police officers were transported to LAC-USC Medical Center where they succumbed to their injuries," the statement said.
The statement continued saying: "Corporal Paredes and Officer Santana were both raised in the city of El Monte and had a strong connection to the community they served. Corporal Paredes and Officer Santana paid the ultimate sacrifice, while in performance of a noble profession, serving the community they loved," according to the city.
Gunfire erupts in El Monte
Investigators said the two officers were ambushed after responding to a call near the Siesta Inn near Garvey and Central avenues Tuesday evening. City officials said in a press release when the officers arrived at the scene, the gunman opened fire, and two officers were struck by the bullets.
The two officers were rushed to the LAC +USC Medical Center where they died from their injuries sustained in the shooting.
The suspect has been identified as 35-year-old Justin Flores. Officials said Flores was due in court on June 27 for a probation violation. The day before the shooting, Flores’ probation officer filed a request with LA County Superior Court for a revocation hearing, due to a possible probation violation when a woman reported he had assaulted her.
After 11 p.m Tuesday, a police procession was held for the fallen officers as they were transported from the hospital to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Several agencies in surrounding cities showed their support and joined the ceremony to honor the fallen heroes.
Corporal Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana.
CORPORAL MICHAEL PAREDES
Corporal Parades was a 22-year veteran of the force. He began his law enforcement career as a Cadet in the department and was sworn in as a full-time police officer in July 2000.
While working for El Monte PD, city officials said he worked on several specialized assignments before he was appointed to the position of a Corporal
He is survived by his wife, daughter and son.
OFFICER JOSEPH SANTANA
Officer Joseph Santana began his career of service working as a part-time Public Works employee. After six years, he worked as a deputy for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. He then returned to his hometown and accepted a position as a police officer with El Monte PD.
Officer Santana is survived by his wife, daughter and twin boys.
The city press release concluded by saying, "Corporal Parades and Officer Santana paid the ultimate sacrifice, while in performance of a noble profession, serving the community they loved."
A fundraiser has been started to help the officer's families. Their goal is to raise $200,000.