Memorial Service Thursday for 2 Slain El Monte Police Officers – Los Angeles

Two El Monte Police Department officers who were killed in the line-of-duty will be remembered Thursday with a procession, memorial service and tribute.

Southern California’s law enforcement colleagues will be participating in the Thursday morning’s remembrances. Officer Joseph Santana, 31, and Michael Paredes, 42. They were responding to a stabbing incident at a motel and were shot and killed on June 14.

Both were survived by their wives, and their young children.

The procession is expected to start at 8:15 am from El Monte Police Department headquarters in Ontario to the Toyota Arena. The procession will travel from Valley Boulevard to Garvey Boulevard and then east on the 10 Freeway until it reaches Toyota Arena.

The service will commence at 10 a.m. and continue until around 1 p.m.

The memorial will not open to the general public, but it will be open for all uniformed police officers.

Live coverage will be available. Keep checking this page for the latest information.

Santana, Paredes, and Santana were both shot fatally on the afternoon of June 14. They entered a room at Siesta Inn at10327 Garvey Ave. in order to confront a suspect for a reported stabbing.

Justin William Flores 35, a probationer, fled the scene after the shooting. After the shooting, he exchanged gunfire and was shot by at least one other officer. According to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Michael Paredes, El Monte officer of police, was killed in the line-of-duty and will be promoted posthumously

According to the coroner, both Santana (Paredes) and Santana were shot in the head. They were taken to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, where their condition was declared as dead.

Paredes, who was a corporal at that time, was promoted to sergeant after his death.

Both officers were born in Upland, but they were raised in El Monte.

According to city officials, Paredes started as an EMPD cadet before being sworn in as a police officer full-time in July 2000. His wife of 18 year, a 16-year old daughter, and a son (14 years) are his survivors.

Santana was employed by the city’s Public Works Department for six years, and then worked as a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy for three years. He was a member of the El Monte Police Department in 2013. His wife of seven years, a daughter of 9 and twin boys of 2 years are his survivors.

The wife of the man who opened fire on the officers said she was being abused by her husband. She said that she was being helped by the officers and informed them, before they entered the hotel room, that her husband had a gun.

“And they still went in,” Diana Flores said. “I didn’t want anyone to get hurt in this. The only person getting hurt was me and now two other innocents.”

Following the officers’ deaths, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón came under criticism for policies that critics said allowed Flores — a felon with a history of arrests — to be on the street.

Flores was granted a plea bargain last year which allowed him avoid prison time for being convicted of possessing a firearm. Flores was released from prison after pleading guilty to methamphetamine possession, as well as being a felon with ammunition possession. He was put on probation for two years and served only 20 days.

Santana’s mother, Olga Garcia, said policies implemented by Gascón led to the deaths of her son and Paredes.

Gascón — the target of a recall effort — insisted the plea agreement was appropriate under the circumstances.” He acknowledged that our criminal justice system is imperfect and stated that it’s impossible for us to predict what the future holds for criminal defendants.

Los Angeles County’s probation has been criticized for the way it handled Flores case.

Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times reported that Flores, who was allegedly in possession a gun and having beaten a woman in the days prior to his deaths, had been reported to the county probation office. The newspaper reported that Flores hadn’t been seen by his probation officer for six months.

Peace Officers Research Association of California (a lobbying organization) has started a fundraising campaign to support the families of the officers. Donations can be made at porac.org/fundraiser/el-monte-policeofficers/.

As of Wednesday, more than $382,000 had already been raised by the effort.

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