A gunman killed two police officers Tuesday afternoon as they responded to reports of a stabbing at a motel in a Los Angeles suburb.
The names of the officers have not been released, but interim El Monte Police Department Chief Ben Lowry said one is a 22-year veteran and the other is a rookie who had been on the force for less than a year, NBC Los Angeles reports.
The Los Angeles Times reports the officers went to the Siesta Inn at about 4:47 p.m. and confronted the suspect in a motel room, exchanging gunfire. The suspect reportedly ran out of the room and into the parking lot, where he again exchanged gunfire with police officers. The gunman was shot and killed at the scene.
The two wounded officers were taken to a hospital but did not survive, reports say.
“They were good men,” Lowry said, according to the Times. “These two heroes paid the ultimate sacrifice today. They were murdered by a coward.”
A woman who was in the motel room when the shooting occurred, reportedly the suspect’s girlfriend, is being interviewed by police, ABC 7 reports. The woman had not been stabbed.
“There are no words to describe our grief and devastation by this senseless act as we learned about the passing of two of our police officers,” says a joint statement from the city of El Monte, El Monte Police Department and El Monte Police Officers Association. “It weighs heavy on our hearts and we are sending our support to their families.”
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