MONTEBELLO >> Police shot and wounded a man in Montebello on Saturday afternoon, officials said.
Few details were initially available regarding the officer-involved shooting, which took place about 4:05 p.m. in a commercial neighborhood in the 7700 block of Telegraph Road, according to Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“The suspect was struck by gunfire,” Rouzan said in a written statement.
“The suspect was transported to a local hospital in an unknown condition,” he said. “There is no additional information available and the investigation is ongoing.”
Detectives from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are spearheading the investigation, as is common practice for officer-involved shooting involving Los Angeles County police agencies.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
WHITTIER >> Prosecutors filed capital murder and other charges Wednesday against a gang member and probationer accused of killing one Whittier police officer and wounding another last month after gunning down his cousin in East Los Angeles, authorities said.
Michael Christopher Mejia, 26, of Los Angeles faces two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of carjacking and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with the shootings, which took place on the morning of Feb. 20 in East Los Angeles and in Whittier, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling.
Mejia could face the death penalty if convicted of the murder of Whittier police Officer Keith Boyer, the murder of his cousin, Roy Torres, the wounding of Whittier officer Patrick Hazell, as well as the carjacking of his cousin and the alleged weapons violation, officials said.
“A decision on whether to seek capital punishment will me made at a later date,” Risling said in a written statement.
Mejia, who was shot and wounded himself by police before being apprehended, was scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing Thursday in the Bellflower branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Risling said. But it was unclear if his medical condition would force the hearing to be postponed.
Mejia has remained hospitalized in a jail ward since the shooting, records show. He was immediately sentenced to a 10-day “flash incarceration” for violating the terms of his probation under the terms of AB 109 pending the filing of charges in connection with the deadly shootings. The 10-day, automatic sentence is set to expire Thursday.
Mejia first shot and killed Torres inside the converted garage he was using as a bedroom at his home in East Los Angeles, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. Mejia then stole his slain cousin’s car and made his way to Whittier.
A little under three hours later, Mejia was involved in a minor traffic collision with two other motorists at Colima Road and Mar Vista Street, investigators said.
“Police responded to the crash and when they ordered Mejia to get out of his car the defendant is accused of pulling out a semi-automatic handgun and firing at two officers,” Risling said. Boyer was killed and Hazell was also wounded. Hazell has since been released from the hospital and is continuing his recovery at home.
Mejia has prior felony convictions for robbery in 2010 and auto theft in 2014, Risling said.
Since being released from custody for the auto theft conviction in April of 2016, Mejia was arrested five times for probation violations, records show. Each time, he received a 9- or 10-day “flash incarceration” before being turned loose again.
The case has prompted outrage from law enforcement and questions from politicians and community members over recent efforts to empty California’s overpopulated prisons, such as AB 109, also knows as the Public Safety Realignment of 2011, and Proposition 47 of 2014, which reduced some felony crimes to misdemeanors.
Memorial services for Boyer are scheduled Thursday evening and Friday morning.
Boyer, who was 53, was a a 27-year veteran of the Whittier Police Department. He is the first Whittier officer killed in the line of duty since 1979.
A public viewing will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Whittier Area Community Church, 8100 Colima Road in Whittier.
The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Calvary Chapel Downey, 12808 Woodruff Ave. in Downey, followed immediately by a procession and graveside ceremony as Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 Workman Mill Road in Whittier.
AZUSA >> Police shot and killed a man in Azusa late Sunday, authorities said.
The fatal officer-involved shooting took place at 11:21 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 200 block of Windsong Court, Deputy Jeffrey Gordon of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
The suspect, described only as a man, died at the scene, Gordon said.
No further details were available.
The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is spearheading the investigation.
EL MONTE >> Police in El Monte shot and killed a man as he allegedly charged at officers with an SUV late Friday, authorities said.
The incident took place about 9:35 p.m. at Esto Avenue and Fieldcrest Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. Detectives from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are handling the investigation into the officer-involved shooting.
The identity of the suspect was not released Saturday pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Capt. John Kades said.
Prior to the shooting, El Monte tried to pull over a mid-size SUV near Valley Boulevard and Tyler Avenue, suspecting that the driver was intoxicated, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the sheriff’s Information Bureau. The driver refused to stop, starting a pursuit.
The suspect crashed into another motorist during the chase and continued fleeing, she said. The driver of the car struck by the suspect was not hurt.
Police continued chasing the SUV until it came to a stop at the intersection of Esto Avenue and Fieldcrest Street, Schrader said. Officers got out of their cars and approached the suspect.
“The suspect then drove into the cul-de-sac, turned around and drove towards the officers, who were standing outside their vehicles,” Schrader said. “An officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Paramedics pronounced the wounded suspect dead at the scene.
Three officers fired their weapons in the incident, officials said. No officers were injured.
Another El Monte officer collided with a civilian car while responding to the pursuit. The driver of that car was treated for injuries described by officials as minor.
Further details were not available.
Anyone with information was urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
SOUTH PASADENA >> Police shot and wounded a suspect in the middle of a home burglary as two women who lived in the house hid in an upstairs bathroom early Saturday, authorities said.
The incident began about 4:25 a.m. when a 48-year-old woman and her 22-year-old daughter realized there was an intruder in their house in the 1300 block of Huntington Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Upon seeing the suspect, the women fled to the upstairs bathroom where they barricaded themselves from the approaching suspect,” according to the statement. “The suspect attempted to break through the bathroom door in an attempt to gain entry. When his attempts failed, the suspect proceeded to ransack the bottom level of the residence. The mother called 9-1-1.”
Officers rushed to the home and made their way inside, officials said.
“As the officers walked up the stairs towards the second floor, they were confronted by the suspect,” the statement said. “It was at this time that an officer-involved shooting occurred. The suspect then fled from the officers towards a bedroom where he proceeded to barricade himself.”
It was unclear what prompted police to open fire on the suspect, or whether he was armed at the time.
Police cordoned off the home and used a ladder to rescue the women through the window of the bathroom in which they’d been hiding.
A sheriff’s SWAT team responded to deal with the barricaded suspect. Officials from the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau announced the suspect was in custody about 7 a.m.
“While in custody, it was discovered that the suspect had been struck in the shoulder by gunfire,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
The 48-year-old suspect was treated at hospital before being booked on suspicion of burglary. His name was not released Sunday.
South Pasadena police deferred comment to sheriff’s officials, who traditionally investigate officer-involved shootings involving Los Angeles County police agencies.
The residents of the home were unharmed, and no police officials were injured during the incident, sheriff’s officials said.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau