Downey officer fatally shot in his car was targeted, authorities say – Los Angeles Times
A Downey police officer was found fatally shot while sitting inside his personal vehicle in the police station’s parking lot, officials said early Thursday.
Two male suspects ran toward Officer Ricardo Galvez about 11:08 p.m. Wednesday as he was seated in the driver’s seat of his vehicle at the Downey Police Department’s west parking lot in the 10900 block of Brookshire Avenue, said homicide Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The men fired at Galvez, killing him, Corina said. After shooting at the officer, the two got into a vehicle and fled, he said.
A Downey officer driving in the area heard the shots and followed the suspects’ vehicle into Montebello, Corina said, but they ran from the vehicle near Washington Boulevard and Carob Way.
A search for the men was underway Thursday morning, Corina said. Three people were detained, and authorities were searching for at least one more person, he said.
“It appears that this officer was targeted,” Corina said. “It doesn’t look like it was random.”
Homicide detectives are reviewing surveillance video of the incident and are trying to determine what led to the shooting, he said. Galvez, a five-year Downey police veteran, was nearing the end of his shift at the time of the shooting.
Investigators have executed a couple of warrants and plan to search homes and the pursuit route for the weapon, which they have not found, Corina said.
Detectives weren’t aware of any threats made to the officer prior to the shooting, but Corina said investigators think the shooters knew the officer.
“It’s pretty brazen,” Corina said. “These people obviously, for whatever reason, were targeting this officer, or appears to be targeting this officer. In that they were that brazen that they weren’t afraid to attack him in the back of police station, thinking they can get away with that.”
Downey Police Chief Carl Charles said Galvez was known to the community as “Ricky.” He described Galvez as a “tremendous young man who loved serving the residents of Downey.”
“His smile was infectious, and his professionalism was always on display,” the police chief said.
Galvez was a former Marine and was deployed twice during Operation Enduring Freedom, Charles said. The field patrol officer was not married and did not have children.
“Words cannot express the love and respect we have for Ricky,” he said. “Our department is hurting.”
The fatal shooting of police officers is relatively rare, particularly in the targeted way Downey officials say Galvez was killed.
The incident recalls the 2011 assault by former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner.
In his weeklong rampage across Southern California, Dorner killed two police officers and the daughter of an LAPD captain and her boyfriend.
In a manifesto written on his Facebook page, Dorner said that he was discriminated against because of his race and unfairly fired from the department, and that he sought retribution against those who wronged him.
The last LAPD officer to be fatally shot was Randal Simmons, who was killed during a SWAT raid in the San Fernando Valley in 2007.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Fund, there have been 111 other police killings this year, compared with 101 in 2014.
For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA