AP

UPDATE: Arrests Made in Fatal Shooting of Off-Duty LAPD Officer

August 02, 2019 - 3:02 pm
Categories: 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There has been news of suspects being detained Friday morning in connection to the murder of a young police officer a week ago.

Three suspects were arrested Friday morning, according to officials.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and police officials spoke Friday morning about the arrests of the suspects, who were in their 20s, saying they were from Riverside, Murrieta and Temecula.

Assistant Police Chief Beatrice Girmala, who is the department's acting chief currently, says search warrants were served elsewhere as the arrests were taking place.  

Girmala says the three suspects are in their 20s but declined to provide additional information ahead of a graduation ceremony for police recruits.  

Juan Diaz was shot after confronting a suspected gang member spraying graffiti in Lincoln Heights. 

There was early morning police activity in the Glassell Park area Friday morning, serving warrants that reportedly are connected to the investigation.

At least one arrest was made at a home in Glassell Park where police served a search warrant in connection to the Diaz case.

The off-duty Los Angeles police officer was shot and killed at a Lincoln Heights taco stand last week and authorities are searching for a suspect.

Officer Juan Diaz was out with his girlfriend and two other males when he was shot, according to an official who had been briefed on the investigation but was not authorized to speak publicly.

Diaz was standing in line at the food truck with his girlfriend and two other males when he noticed a man vandalizing something nearby and approached him, the official said. The official did not know if Diaz identified himself as a police officer.

The man left and a short time later returned with a group of other males and lifted up his shirt to display a handgun, the official said. The official added that Diaz and the others tried to get into a car to avoid violence but the man started shooting.

Click here to donate to Officer Juan Diaz's GoFundMe page

Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala said a civilian flagged down a motorcycle officer at around 1 a.m. Saturday and reported shots fired. The officer found two men had been shot.

Diaz died from his wounds and the other man was hospitalized in unknown condition.

Police believe the gunman is a member of the Avenues gang, which is now the focus of the department's investigation, according to the official who was not authorized to speak publicly.

"Words cannot match the depth of sorrow that Angelenos are feeling today," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement, calling it a senseless murder.

The LA Police Protective League released a statement calling for the police chief to utilize every department resource to find the gunman.

"We mourn the loss of our brother and we will always remember his service and sacrifice to the Los Angeles Police Department and the residents of our city," it said.

Chief Michel Moore asked for the public's help finding the attacker.