KTLA: DA faces criticism after 2 officers killed in El Monte shooting

A memorial is growing Wednesday for two El Monte police officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty Tuesday night.

Flowers and candles are being placed outside the El Monte Police Department for the officers who were slain while responding to a reported stabbing in the 10300 block of Garvey Avenue.

“These two men were loved. They were good men. They paid the ultimate sacrifice serving their community, trying to help somebody … They were murdered by a coward,” acting El Monte Police Chief Ben Lowry said after the shooting Tuesday.

Officer Joseph Santana (left) and Corporal Micheal Paredes (right) are shown in photos released by the El Monte Police Department on June 15, 2022.
Officer Joseph Santana (left) and Corporal Michael Paredes (right) are shown in photos released by the El Monte Police Department on June 15, 2022.

Investigators said the two officers, Corporal Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana, were ambushed by gunfire from inside a motel room as soon as they arrived at the Siesta Inn around 5:10 p.m.

At one point, the shooter came outside and exchanged gunfire with police.

When the shooting was over, the officers were taken to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead.

The gunman was also killed in the gun battle. His weapon was found at his side.

No stabbing victim was found at the location.

Both officers were raised in El Monte, were married and had children, police said.

Santana, 31, began his career in El Monte working part-time in public works, police said. He transitioned into law enforcement after six years and worked as a deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, where he served for about three years.

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“However, Eric Siddall, an L.A. County deputy district attorney, said Flores ‘should never have been out on probation’ and that the strikes law was not being enforced. ‘It’s solely because of George Gascón’s policy that he was out on the street on Tuesday.

—Eric Sidall