A massive manhunt was underway in Los Angeles County the morning of Nov. 19 after the "brazen" murder of a police officer in the parking lot of a police station.
Two men approached Downey Police Officer Ricardo Galvez as he was sitting in his car in the Downey Police Department's west parking lot just after 11 p.m. Nov. 18, The Los Angeles Times reports. The suspects fired at Galvez, killing him, and fled in a waiting car.
“It’s pretty brazen,” said Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, according to The Sacramento Bee. “These people obviously, for whatever reason, were targeting this officer, or appear to be targeting this officer. In that they were that brazen, that they weren’t afraid to attack him in the back of the police station, thinking they can get away with that.”
Police said they weren't aware of any threat on Galvez's life, and that they were reviewing surveillance footage in an attempt to discover what could have prompted the murder of the five-year police veteran and former Marine. Corina said detectives believe the shooters and Galvez knew each other, and it likely wasn't a case of gunmen targeting a random police officer.
Galvez was finished with his shift, Corina noted, and was out of uniform in his own car when the men approached him.
In the meantime, detectives are tracking down leads in the case. Three people were detained, and cops were looking for a fourth person. It wasn't clear if police suspected those people were involved in the shooting, or if they were questioned as witnesses.
An officer who heard the shots was able to follow the getaway car to Montebello, but the suspects evaded cops when they ditched the car and took off on foot. Three people were seen bailing from the getaway car, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.
In Downey, police Chief Carl Charles described Galvez, 29, as "a tremendous young man."
“His smile was infectious, and his professionalism was always on display,” Charles told the Press-Telegram. “Words cannot express the love and respect we have for Ricky. Our department is hurting."
Galvez was the 112th police officer killed this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Fund.