Coroner: Slain Calif. Officers Both Shot in Head During Motel Ambush

June 17, 2022
While few details have been released about the motel gunfight that killed two El Monte police officers, investigators have said that one shooting was in the motel and another was in the parking lot.

The two El Monte officers killed in a shootout with a suspect earlier this week were both shot in the head, according to the coroner's office.

Cpl. Michael Paredes, 42, and the Officer Joseph Santana, 31, died at Los Angeles County USC on Tuesday, June 14, following the shooting at the Siesta Inn on Garvey Avenue.


The suspect, 35-year-old Justin Flores of Whittier, has not been examined by the coroner's office. He was also shot and died at the scene.

Paredes started as a full-time officer with the El Monte Police Department in 2000, was married and has a son and daughter. Santana had worked for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department before joining El Monte police in 2021. He was married and has a daughter and twin boys.

A candlelight vigil for the officers will be held 7 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at the front steps of the Civic Center, 11333 Valley Blvd. in El Monte. Parking is available at the nearby courthouse.

Paredes and Santana went to the Siesta Inn on Tuesday night to check the welfare of a woman who possibly had been stabbed, according to a sheriff's statement. They encountered a woman and a man.

The woman was Flores' wife, Diana, according to Lynn Covarrubias, who is Flores' mother.

Sheriff's Investigators have released few details. There was a shooting inside the motel, then the second shooting happened in the parking lot. Detectives found a gun at the scene but have not said the make or model of the weapon.

Since Tuesday, different police agencies have been helping by patrolling the city.

They are providing mutual aid so El Monte officers can do what they need to do and grieve, according to Bryan Ariizumi, a disaster management liaison officer. He said these services are provided to agencies when there is a police shooting.

Covina, Glendora, Baldwin Park and Irwindale police were covering the city on Friday day shift while Monrovia and West Covina police are scheduled to cover Friday night, Ariizumi said.

City Manager Alma K Martinez said different law enforcement agencies had also offered food, moral support and therapy dogs.

City Hall will be closed Monday, June 20, for a grieving day, she said.


(c)2022 San Gabriel Valley Tribune, West Covina, Calif.

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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