‘They were trying to help me,’ wife says
Diana Flores, whose husband Justin Flores shot and killed two police officers in a Southern California gun battle on Wednesday, apologised for her spouse’s actions.
“I’m so deeply sorry. My condolences for saving me,” she told CBS Los Angeles. “I’m so sorry. They didn’t deserve that. They were trying to help me.”
Police say Mr Flores, 35, opened fire on two officers, Corporal Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana, when they responded to a call about a stabbing on Wednesday in the city of El Monte.
Ms Flores said her husband had attacked her and she fled, but he managed to track her down.
“I told them before they went in, don’t go in, he has a gun,” she said of the police.
Both officers were taken to LA County-USC Medical Center, where they died from their injuries.
Mr Flores, 35, had previously been in prison for vehicle theft and burglary, and was on probation for a gun charge at the time of the shooting. He was fatally shot in the firefight with police.
“These two officers were like family in our community with deep ties to our neighborhoods,” El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona said after the shoting.
“One of our officers was raised in El Monte, went through our schools and was excited to be a part of the El Monte Police Department, where he would be able to serve and protect family and friends. The other fallen officer was a new officer, patrolling our streets, excited to be on the force.”
“These two men were loved. They were good men,” added El Monte police department captain Ben Lowry. “They paid the ultimate sacrifice serving their community, trying to help somebody. They do with hundreds of thousands of men and women do every day across the United States. … And these two heroes paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
A video captured Mr Flores exchanging numerous shots with police officers. Evidence markers were seen all across the parking lot of the Siesta Inn where the couple was located at the time of the shooting.