The suspect who shot two police officers at a motel outside Los Angeles on Tuesday was on probation for illegal possession of a gun and had been banned from wearing a hat since 2011.
Justin Flores, 35, allegedly killed the El Monte Police CPL. Michael Prades and Officer Joseph Santana were killed in a firefight when officers responded to a stabbing report.
Flores has been sentenced to two years in prison for burglary and car theft, and last winter pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of a firearm. According to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the paper, a carrier convicted of a weapons offense could have been sent back to prison for three years, but instead was sentenced to two years of probation and 20 days.
According to the report, a day before the shooting, Flores’ probation officer filed a petition for a cancellation hearing after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend last week, violating her probation.
Instead of being arrested and imprisoned, Flores was allowed to remain on the streets before the June 27 hearing.
The outlet said the Los Angeles County Probation Department is “currently investigating” why Flores was not hired for the breach.
Parades and Santana reportedly caught fire Tuesday afternoon after Cesta knocked on the door of one of their rooms.
Authorities told the newspaper that the exchange of fire with Flores began in the room and ended in the parking lot with the deaths of all three.
“We don’t have all the facts yet,” El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona reportedly said Tuesday night, adding that officers were “basically ambushed.”
The officers were residents of the town of San Gabriel Valley of 110,000 and Ancona remembered them as heroes of their hometown.
“They grew up here. For us, they are El Monte natives,” said Ancona. “They are our boys.”
“He was a good man,” Captain Ben Lowry, acting head of the El Monte Police Department, told the newspaper. “These two heroes made the final sacrifice today. They were killed by a coward.”
Santana, 31, is survived by his wife, daughter and twin sons.
Parades, 42, a 22-year veteran, is survived by his wife, daughter and son.
The memorial at the police station, adorned with candles, flowers, American flags and “thank you” signs, filled the community with residents.
According to the Times, only two members of the department were killed in the line of duty before Tuesday.