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Criminal Justice

2 Police Officers, Suspect Dead After ‘Shootout’ In El Monte

El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona wears a red shirt and black coat as she speaks in front of LAC + USC medical center Tuesday night. Two El Monte officers were killed in what was described as a 'shootout'
El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona speaks at a press conference Tuesday night.
(Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
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Two El Monte police officers are dead after what an L.A. County Sheriff’s Department investigator called a “shootout” that took place in the vicinity of the Siesta Inn Motel in El Monte on Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the El Monte PD identified the officers killed as Joseph Santana — who’d been on the job less than a year — and Corporal Michael Paredes, a 22-year veteran of the department. Both were raised in El Monte. Santana leaves behind his wife, daughter and twin boys. Paredes is survived by his wife, daughter and son.

The city planned a Farmer's Market and Pride Night for Thursday, June 16, however the events have been postponed in response to the shooting deaths. Prior to the shooting, the El Monte PD had rainbow badges made for the event.

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LASD, which is taking over the investigation for the El Monte Police Department, said in a news release that officers responded to a request for a welfare check regarding a possible female stabbing victim.

It’s still unclear how things escalated, but LASD Homicide Bureau head, Capt. Andrew Meyer, said Tuesday evening that officers fired their weapons after confronting the suspect, who was shot and killed. The officers were taken to L.A. County-USC hospital where they were pronounced dead.

El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona told the news conference Tuesday that the officers were “essentially ambushed.” According to a news release from El Monte PD, “officers immediately took gunfire upon arrival,” although Meyer did not offer those details when addressing reporters.

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“These two officers were like family in our community, with deep ties to our neighborhoods,” Ancona said.

“On behalf of everyone in the District Attorney’s Office, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the two @ElMontePolice officers who were killed on duty today. We stand with you at this time of great loss,” L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement released on Twitter.

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Updated June 15, 2022 at 4:38 PM PDT
This story was updated with the identity of the officers who were killed.