An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer was shopping for homes with his girlfriend Monday when he was shot to death by three men near South L.A., the chief of police said.
Chief Michel Moore said detectives believe the men were trying to rob the officer, 27-year-old Fernando Arroyos. He had been on the force for three years and was most recently working out of the Olympic Division.
“He was the only child to his mother,” Moore said during Tuesday’s Police Commission meeting. “He had a promising future in this department.”
The shooting in the 8700 block of Beach Street, which is located in an unincorporated area of L.A. County just west of South Gate, occurred at around 9:15 p.m. as Arroyos and his girlfriend were crossing the street to get in to their car.
Moore said the three men in a black pick-up truck drove up to Arroyos and got out. One of them pulled out a handgun.
At that point, Arroyos also took out his sidearm and yelled for his girlfriend to run to their car. There was a brief exchange of gunfire between Arroyos and the other man, with the officer being struck and falling to the ground.
The three men got back in their car and fled, Moore said.
Arroyos’ girlfriend attempted to tend to him then get him back in their car. Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrived and took Arroyos to a nearby hospital, where he died.
Deputies surrounded the area searching for the suspects Monday night. They found the shooters handgun at the scene, Moore said.
An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer was fatally wounded in the Firestone-Florence neighborhood. Motorcycle police escort the officer’s body to the L.A. County coroner’s office. (Photo: Screenshot, KABC 7 Eyewitness News)
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, appearing at a back-to-school event Tuesday morning, said Arroyos was a son of immigrants. The mayor said the officer and his girlfriend were looking for their first home.
“My heart is broken,” Garcetti said .”Our city’s heart is broken, and certainly our LAPD family’s hearts all grieve …”
“And because this happened outside the city of Los Angeles, the Sheriff’s Department is taking the lead on all investigations, with very strong support from our Robbery-Homicide officers as well,” the mayor said.
“And so I just want to send my love again to the family, to the LAPD family,” he said. “This man died a hero trying to defend himself and his girlfriend.”
Moore said LAPD still needed the community’s help in identifying Arroyos’ killers.
“We also have every faith and confidence that we’ll be identifying the person or persons responsible for this terrible act and this grievous loss,” he said.
Shortly before daybreak on Tuesday, Arroyos’ body was taken in a procession of vehicles from St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood to the Los Angeles County coroner’s facility near downtown Los Angeles.
“Tonight, we mourn the loss of one of our officers who was shot (and) killed in an armed robbery attempt,” according to a tweet from the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the …read more
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