A police officer in the city of Downey was found murdered in the parking lot of the police headquarters. Los Angeles County sheriff's officials believe the officer was specifically targeted, and investigators will also consider targeted execution as one of the angles.
A police officer associated with the Downey city police force was shot to death while sitting in his car in the parking lot of Downey police headquarters. The officer, identified as Ricardo Galvez, was in the driver's seat of his personal vehicle, when two male suspects ran up to the car and opened fire on the police officer, killing him instantly. The incident happened late Wednesday, shared Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina.
Officer Ricardo Galvez, known to his associates and friends as "Ricky," was a five-year department veteran. He was also a five-year U.S. Marine Reservist. Another police officer who heard gunshots rushed outside and saw two men fleeing the scene. Though the officer chased the suspects, they managed to evade arrests by disappearing into the neighboring city of Montebello. The Sherriff's officials believe the killing of the Downey police officer was an intentionally targeted execution. But it is not immediately clear if Galvez was targeted for personal reasons or because of his profession, reported MSN.
Subsequent to the shooting, police officers cordoned off the area and set up a large perimeter. Thereafter, SWAT officers began combing the neighborhood. The search that started late Wednesday night continued till early Thursday. Quite a few of the residents of Montebello were asked to step outside their residences. Though many grumbled about the late night intrusion, they quietly complied with the procedures. Some residents added they were quite scared at first, but obeyed the instructions. A few of the residents of the town confirmed they saw police take at least two people in custody and drive away.
The parking lot at the Downey Police Department, which was cordoned off by sheriff's homicide detectives, continues to remain off-limits, reported Fox News.
Corina added that SWAT has apprehended a number of suspects. The detainees will now be interrogated by investigators to try and determine if any of them are the suspects that killed the Downey police officer. Though many have been detained, no weapons have been confiscated yet.
Speaking about the killed police officer, Downey Police Chief Carl Charles said, "Words cannot express the love and respect we have for Ricky. Our department is hurting. Galvez was a tremendous young man who loved serving the residents of Downey. His smile was infectious, and his professionalism was always on display"
Charles added that Officer Galvez, a marine veteran, wasn't married but stayed close to his siblings and extended family, reported the Christian Science Monitor.
Downey is a relatively small city with a population of 111,000 residents. It lies about 10 miles (21 km.) southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It certainly isn't one of the most dangerous cities in America. In fact, it is considered as the birthplace of the Apollo space program. The world's oldest McDonald's restaurant is in Downey. Hence, it comes as a shock that the city would witness such a cold-blooded murder of a police officer, in the parking of the police headquarters.
Unfortunately, crimes against police officers have been steadily rising in many American cities and law enforcement officials are now worried about what they been calling as the "Ferguson effect." It appears the police are increasingly wary of stepping out of their patrol cars to enforce the law because they are afraid of being videotaped. These amateur videos have been used in the recent past to penalize cops.
[Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]