An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer was shot and killed Monday night while house hunting on LA’s south side in an attempted armed robbery.
The officer, who was identified yesterday as 27-year-old Fernando Arroyos, was found by LA County sheriff’s deputies in an alley after they responded to a call on the shooting at 9:15pm.
The off-duty officer was wearing plain clothes and was with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting.
Deputies bundled him into the back of a patrol car and rushed him to hospital, but he died later that evening from the multiple gunshot wounds.
Despite his young age, Arroyo was a ‘promising’ officer’ and had already served with the LAPD for three years prior to his death.
LAPD Chief Michael Moore said: ‘He had a promising future. A bright future that was taken away viscously over a street robbery.’
Mayor Eric Garcetti said the officer ‘died a hero trying to defend himself and his girlfriend’.
‘My heart is broken. Our city’s heart is broken. And certainly our LAPD family’s hearts all grieve.’
Los Angeles Police Department officer Fernando Arroyos, 27, was shot and killed Monday night while house hunting with his girlfriend off-duty on LA’s south side in an attempted armed robbery.
The couple had just crossed the street to attend a house viewing at 8700 Beach Street in Florence-Firestone (pictured), when three armed suspects drove up and opened fire
Chief Moore said Arroyos had just finished several days on patrol, and on his day off had joined his partner ‘on a hunt for a house, a place to live, a place to buy and invest in the city and in the future of this region.’
The couple had just crossed the street to attend a house viewing at 8700 Beach Street in Florence-Firestone, when three armed suspects drove up.
‘The officer yelled for his girlfriend to leave to run to go back to the car,’ Moore said, before exchanging gunfire with the suspects.
When LA County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, they found Arroyo bleeding heavily from multiple gunshot wounds. They drove him directly to St. Francis Medical Center, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The police chief said that officers recovered two weapons at the crime scene.
‘We have our officer’s gun, and we have an additional weapon that we believe was responsible for this assault,’ Moore said, before appealing for help in tracking down the suspects.
‘We know we need the community’s help. But we also have every faith and confidence that we’ll be identifying the person or persons responsible for this terrible act and this grievous loss,’ the chief declared to press outside St. Francis Medical Center shortly after Arroyo’s death had been confirmed.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said his homicide investigators are looking for the suspects in the shooting, while Sheriff’s Capt. Joe Mendoza reported that detectives had detained three men and two women for questioning.
‘We haven’t reached the point of charging anyone, but I would describe them as persons of interest,’ Mendoza said.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers, took to social media to pay tribute to Arroyo.
‘Tonight, we mourn the loss of one of our officers who was shot & killed in an armed robbery attempt. The officer was off-duty. We pray for the officer’s family, and their fellow officers, during this time of pain and sorrow,’ it wrote.
When LA County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, they found Arroyo bleeding heavily from multiple gunshot wounds. They drove him directly to St. Francis Medical Center (pictured), but he was pronounced dead on arrival
LAPD Lieutenant Rex Ingram, who was responsible for supervising Arroyos, gave glowing praise of his fallen officer.
Ingram said that Arroyo, who graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in legal studies, was ‘the humblest and happiest guy I know on the job’.
‘He could have gone to law school or FBI like his peers with that education, but he wanted to serve his community and give back,’ Ingram told the LA Times.
‘He loved his community…. He was very close to his family.’
LAPD officers and sheriff’s deputies performed a procession early Tuesday morning, accompanying the body in patrol cars as it was transported from the medical center to the LA County coroner’s office in Boyle Heights.
Firefighters used ladder trucks to form an arch over the road near St. Francis as the procession drove past.
‘Today we grieve the loss of a young officer who was murdered while off duty. As we mourn his tragic loss, we ask that you keep his family and partners in your thoughts and prayers,’ the LAPD said in a statement.