Suspect accused of killing 2 cops was on probation for gun possession: Sources

The officers have been identified as Cpl. Michael Paredes and Joseph Santana.

June 15, 2022, 9:46 PM

Two police officers have died after being shot in El Monte, California, Tuesday while responding to a possible stabbing at a motel, authorities said.

The El Monte Police Department said two officers "immediately took gunfire upon arrival" at the Siesta Inn.

The officers were taken to LAC-USC Medical Center, where they died of their injuries, ABC News Los Angeles station KABC reported.

The suspect was also shot and died at the scene, according to KABC.

Investigators believe the suspect, whom authorities have identified, was on probation for gun possession and had been arrested last year for possessing a gun and drugs, multiple law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation told ABC News.

PHOTO: Investigators at a scene after a shooting on June 14, 2022 in El Monte, Calif.
Investigators at a scene after a shooting on June 14, 2022 in El Monte, Calif.
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Polaris

In a statement to ABC News, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón's office said the suspect "was convicted of burglarizing his grandparents’ home more than 10 years ago, resulting in a strike. He was arrested in 2020 and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and for possession of narcotics for personal use."

According to Gascón's office, the suspect "pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, a felony," last year, and his sentence "was consistent with case resolutions for this type of offense given his criminal history and the nature of the offense."

The suspect "did not have a documented history of violence" when he was sentenced, the office added.

Dozens of evidence markers at the scene showed numerous shots were fired during the shootout, sources said. The suspect's girlfriend was not stabbed, as the initial 911 domestic violence call indicated, and was uninjured during the incident, sources said.

The El Monte Police Department on Wednesday identified the officers who were killed as Cpl. Michael Paredes and officer Joseph Santana.

"Corporal Paredes and Officer Santana were raised in the city of El Monte and had a strong connection to the community they served," the police department said in a statement.

PHOTO: Cpl. Michael Paredes and officer Joseph Santana of the El Monte Police Department are seen in a composite handout image.
Cpl. Michael Paredes and officer Joseph Santana of the El Monte Police Department are seen in a composite handout image. The police officers died after being shot while responding to a possible stabbing at a motel in El Monte, Calif., June 14, 2022.
El Monte Police Department

Paredes had served more than 20 years on the force and is survived by his wife, daughter and son. Santana previously was a deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department for three years before joining the El Monte Police Department. He is survived by his wife, daughter and twin boys.

"There are no words to describe our grief and devastation by this senseless act as we learned about the passing of two of our police officers," the city, police department and El Monte Police Officers Association said in a statement. "It weighs heavy on our hearts and we are sending our support to their families. We would also like to thank the El Monte community and our surrounding government agencies for the outpouring [of] support we have received in the last few hours."

PHOTO: Investigators at a scene after a shooting on June 14, 2022 in El Monte, Calif.
Investigators at a scene after a shooting on June 14, 2022 in El Monte, Calif.
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Polaris

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has taken over the investigation, the El Monte Police Department said.

El Monte is east of Los Angeles.

ABC News' Alex Stone and Josh Margolin contributed to this report.

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