Suspect who shot, killed Whittier police officer identified

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Lt. John Corina, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said the two Whittier police officers had responded to a report Monday of a traffic accident and were shot when they approached the vehicle. His partner was also injured when a man, who police say is a gang member, began shooting at them after fleeing the scene of a traffic collision, authorities said.

The two police officers and the suspect were taken to local hospitals in unknown conditions, the release stated. He then asked people in the auto he struck to help him move the disabled vehicle, according to Corina.

"They start patting him down for weapons - he's got tattoos all over his face and a gang attire - and that's when he pulls out a gun and engages in a gun fight". He said Boyer was a mentor to others in the department and had recently talked about retiring. Just within the past hour, a news conference was held with more details and reaction from a visibly devastated Whittier police chief. Investigators did not know why the suspect opened fire.

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Misdemeanors can still result in sentences of up to a year in jail, and it is up to police officers and prosecutors to enforce those penalties, Michael Romano, a lecturer at Stanford Law School, told The Times in December. It was a fitting outpouring of grief and support for the officer who died in the line of duty, for fellow Officer Patrick Hazell, who was wounded in Monday's gunfight, and for the whole department.

Thus far, we don't know whether Boyer's killer was released from prison under one of those laws, or under Prop. 57, passed in November, which provides for early release in some circumstances.

Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau are assisting in the investigation. He blamed the early release on a series of new laws created to reduce incarcerations in California. "This is a senseless, senseless tragedy that did not need to be", said Chief Jeff Piper.

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