Two police officers — one a 22-year-veteran and the other a rookie — were shot and killed in the Los Angeles County city of El Monte late Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. The suspect is also dead. The mayor said the officers were “essentially ambushed.”
The shooting occurred at about 4:45 p.m. local time when El Monte officers responded to a report of a stabbing at a motel. When they arrived, they “immediately took gunfire,” police said.
The two officers were rushed to a hospital where they later died, police said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the suspect was shot and died at the scene. He wasn’t publicly identified, CBS Los Angeles reports.
El Monte police said one officer was a 22-year veteran and the other was with the department less than a year.
City officials said the two officers were responding to a domestic violence report between a boyfriend and girlfriend.
According to police, the shootout started in the motel room. The suspect then fled into the motel parking lot, where another shootout occurred.
“As our officers do on a daily basis, they were acting as the first line of defense for our community members when they were essentially ambushed while trying to keep a family safe,” said El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona.
She said the veteran officer grew up and attended the school in the city.
“They paid the ultimate sacrifice serving their community trying to help somebody,” Lowry remarked. “They do what hundreds of thousands of men and women do every day across the United States. They took an oath to protect people and to serve them. These two heroes paid the ultimate sacrifice. They were murdered by a coward.”
“We are grieving and it hurts,” Lowry said.
The officer, a 19-year-veteran of the force, was the ninth shot in Phoenix since December, according to Kurtenbach.