UPDATE: The gang member accused of killing a Whittier police officer Monday has cycled in and out of jail for repeatedly violating the terms of his release, records show.
Sheriff’s Homicide Capt. Steve Katz on Tuesday identified the suspect as Michael C. Mejia, 26, a career criminal with a history of drugs and violence. Mejia has a “history of control problems,” Katz said.
Court records show that Mejia was sentenced in 2010 to four years in state prison for robbery and was convicted in July 2014 of grand theft auto and attempting to steal a vehicle. He was given another two-year sentence.
Click the link to read the rest of the extensive criminal history of Mejia and the politics that released him at the Los Angeles Times.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gang member who was recently freed from jail killed his cousin and stole his car Monday then shot and killed a California police officer and wounded his partner before being wounded himself, authorities said.
Whittier Officer Keith Lane Boyer died and Officer Patrick Hazel was wounded when they answered a report of a traffic accident in the eastern Los Angeles County suburb.
A motorist pointed out the location of the car that had rear-ended his vehicle, and the officers approached the driver.
“When they get him out of the car, they go to pat him down for weapons, they can see he’s got tattoos all over his face and all over his neck,” county sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said.
The man then pulled a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and opened fire at the officers, who were wearing bulletproof vests and shot back, Corina said.
“They walked up on the vehicle believing the motorist was in need of medical help and then they ended up in a gunfight for their lives,” Sheriff Jim McDonnell said.
Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper wept as he described Boyer as a friend of more than 25 years.
“All of us have been grieving,” the chief said. “And I didn’t think I had any tears left.”
Piper said the shooting suspect, whose name has not been made public, was released from custody early. He blamed the early release on a series of new laws designed to reduce incarcerations in California. – Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement of condolence. Capitol flags were ordered to be flown at half-staff in his honor.
The suspect, a 26-year-old gang member, had a history of serious crimes and had been granted early release from Los Angeles County jail about a week ago, Corina said. He didn’t know the nature of his offense.
His name wasn’t immediately released.
GOPUSA Editor’s Note: Not immediately released? He is 26 years old and was in jail. His name is known. What’s going on here? Could it be that his name and background don’t fit into the story the media WANT to tell you? Please just give us the facts!
Earlier Monday, he shot and killed his cousin in East Los Angeles and took his car, which later rear-ended another car in the neighboring city of Whittier, Corina said.
He got out and asked those he had hit to help push his stolen car from the intersection.
Boyer and Hazel didn’t know any of those details when they answered the report of a car accident, Corina said.
Boyer was pronounced dead at a hospital. Hazel, a three-year veteran, and the suspect were hospitalized in stable condition and were expected to live.
After the shooting, a long line of police cars escorted the slain officer’s body from a hospital in Irvine to the coroner’s office. Mourners placed candles and flowers outside police headquarters.
Boyer joined the force as a dispatcher in 1989 and became a full-time officer in 1990. A divorced father who played the drums, he was “the best of the best” who was sought for advice by his colleagues and superiors, the chief said.
Boyer recently talked to the chief about retiring.
The Whittier Police Department has about 125 sworn officers who patrol Whittier and Santa Fe Springs.
The department has had two other officers killed in the line of duty – a detective in 1979 and a corporal in 1977.
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