Spouse says she tried to warn police earlier than lethal taking pictures

EL MONTE, Calif. (AP) — The spouse of a person who killed two Southern California law enforcement officials Tuesday in a shootout informed a tv station that her husband had beforehand attacked her and he or she warned the officers that he had a gun inside a suburban Los Angeles motel.

The gunman, recognized as Justin William Flores, was shot and killed on the scene. His spouse informed KCBS-TV that he had attacked her two days in the past and he or she had moved into the motel to flee him however he tracked her down.

“I’m so deeply sorry, my deepest condolences for saving me, I am so, so, so sorry,” Diana Flores tearfully informed the TV station. “They did not deserve that, or their households. They actually did not. They have been attempting to assist me and I informed them earlier than they went within the room, ‘Do not go in. He has a gun.’”

The officers — Cpl. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana, who have been recognized Wednesday — have been each slain whereas investigating a attainable stabbing at a motel in El Monte.

gov. Gavin Newsom introduced that flags on the state Capitol will likely be flown at half-staff of their honor.

Paredes and Santana — one on the drive for greater than twenty years and the opposite for simply months — have been each raised in and labored for the town of El Monte, a suburb of 107,000 individuals within the San Gabriel Valley. They grew to become solely the third and fourth officers within the El Monte Police Division’s historical past to die within the line of responsibility. A vigil is scheduled for Saturday.

Flores was on probation for a gun cost on the time of the taking pictures, which occurred a day after his probation officer requested that he return to courtroom later within the month, courtroom data present.

The coroner’s workplace has not but launched the title of the suspect however the Los Angeles County District Legal professional’s Workplace recognized Flores to The Related Press.

Mourners on Wednesday left bouquets, wreaths of flowers and candles exterior the El Monte police station to honor the fallen officers.

“Corporal Paredes and Officer Santana paid the last word sacrifice,” the town of El Monte wrote in a information launch, “whereas in efficiency of a noble occupation, serving the group they cherished.”

Flores, 35, served two stints in state jail for automobile theft and housebreaking, in accordance with the California Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and was most not too long ago launched in 2012.

In March 2020, Flores was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and for possession of narcotics for private use. He pleaded responsible final yr to being a felon in possession of a firearm, a felony cost that might have despatched him again to jail for 3 years.

As a substitute he was sentenced to 2 years of probation and 20 days in jail and LA County District Legal professional George Gascón, who’s going through a recall effort for his progressive insurance policies, is going through criticism for Flores’ plea deal.

“The sentence he acquired within the firearm case was in step with case resolutions for this sort of offense given his felony historical past and the character of the offense,” the DA’s workplace mentioned in a press release Wednesday. “On the time the courtroom sentenced him, Mr. Flores didn’t have a documented historical past of violence.”

Courtroom data obtained by AP don’t specify why Flores’ probation officer had requested Monday that he return to courtroom; data present {that a} listening to was scheduled for June 27.

The county’s probation division declined to remark and Flores’ lawyer within the case didn’t return a request for touch upon Wednesday. However the Los Angeles Instances reported that Flores had violated his probation, triggering the return to courtroom.

Few particulars have emerged about what occurred throughout Tuesday’s violence. The officers went to the Siesta Inn in El Monte, east of Los Angeles, round 4:45 pm Tuesday, for a welfare verify the place a girl had probably been stabbed.

The officers “confronted the suspect,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s murder Capt. Andrew Meyer mentioned Tuesday.

Gunfire erupted inside a motel room and the gunman then fled into the parking zone, the place extra gunfire was exchanged, Meyer mentioned.

Meyer mentioned he did not know whether or not the officers have been shot contained in the motel or exterior. They died at a hospital. A gun was discovered on the scene.

Meyer mentioned investigators have been interviewing a girl from the resort who they consider was the suspect’s girlfriend. Diana Flores, who described herself because the suspect’s spouse and had his first title tattooed on her chest, informed KCBS that officers should have been reacting to a “false name” as a result of she hadn’t been stabbed on Tuesday.

“I received stabbed the day earlier than that,” she informed the TV station.

Paredes, 42, began as a cadet within the division earlier than turning into a full-time officer in 2000, in accordance with a information launch. He’s survived by his spouse, daughter and son.

Santana, 31, had been with the El Monte drive for lower than a yr when he was killed. He beforehand served as a deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division for 3 years, the information launch acknowledged.

This tragic loss hits near dwelling for us,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division wrote on Twitter. “He was an awesome companion and cherished by all who knew him.”

Santana additionally labored as a part-time public works worker for El Monte for six years earlier than turning to legislation enforcement. He’s survived by his spouse, daughter and twin sons.

El Monte interim Police Chief Ben Lowry on Tuesday known as the officers heroes.

“These two males have been cherished,” Lowry mentioned. “They have been good males. They paid the last word sacrifice, serving their group attempting to assist any individual.”

“They have been murdered by a coward and we’re grieving, and that hurts,” he mentioned.

El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona mentioned the officers died “whereas attempting to maintain a household protected.”

The killings got here simply someday after a California Freeway Patrol officer was shot and critically wounded throughout a site visitors cease within the Studio Metropolis space of ​​Los Angeles.

The 27-year-old officer is anticipated to get well, authorities mentioned. A bloodhound helped police observe down the suspect, who surrendered to police Tuesday in a homeless encampment within the San Fernando Valley.


Dazio reported from Los Angeles. Information researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed from New York Metropolis.

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