DETROIT, MI – An officer in Detroit, Michigan, was shot and killed Wednesday night while responding to a call of a person firing a weapon in the area.
The officer was murdered on the city’s west side near Joy Road and Marlowe Street. According to reports, officers arrived at the scene only to be immediately shot at. The unidentified officer was struck at least once.
His partner returned fire, striking and killing the shooter.
— Detroit Police News (@detroitpolice) July 7, 2022
Why the man was shooting the rifle used to kill the officer is still being investigated. There were no other victims. Could it be possible that officers were lured there to be ambushed?
Chief of Police James White said that while officers know what they are signing up for, it doesn’t make moments like this one any easier.
“The violence in this country is outrageous,” he said. “The assaults against police officers is outrageous. And tonight, we lost a hero in our department. And regardless of where you stand, on what side of the political aisle you’re on, on this issue of gun violence, it’s entirely too much gun violence in the city. Too much gun violence in this country.
And now we’ve got an officer who has paid the ultimate sacrifice, putting his life on the line for you and me … every single day. And officers are doing it right now even after this call. Enough is enough.”
Video shows officers on the scene crying, hugging and praying with one another.
“The officers are heartbroken,” Chief White said.
The fallen officer, a 5-year veteran, was a husband and a father. According to Chief White, serving in law enforcement ran in his family. His father recently retired from the department.
“Their soul is crushed,” White said of the officer’s family. “This is the worst day of their life. And Dad’s not coming home, husband’s not coming home. And it’s unacceptable, absolutely unacceptable.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan addressed members of the media.
“Come on people, we better than this,” one neighborhood resident said.
“This is happening not just to civilians but police officers as you can see, so we need everybody to cooperate right now, this is a cry out for help,” said another.
The identities of the officer and the shooter have not been revealed. According to WXYZ, Chief White is planning to release more information later Thursday. Law Enforcement Today will follow this story and provide updates as they become available.
This slaying takes the total of law enforcement officers shot and killed nationally to at least 34. We just reached the mid-point of 2022.
California cop killer was on probation the night they were killed; probation officer says he hadn’t seen him in months
LOS ANGELES, CA – Law Enforcement Today brought you coverage of a gang member who executed two El Monte, California police officers on June 14, detailing that he should have been in prison the night they were killed.
We are learning more about Justin Flores today and aspects of this case that could have resulted in Officer Joseph Santana and Corporal Michael Paredes still being with us, patrolling the streets of El Monte.
New: Justin Flores was on probation the night he shot and killed two El Monte police officers. But his probation officer hadn’t seen him in person in more than six months.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 29, 2022
According to the LA Times, the Los Angeles County probation department was notified that Flores was in possession of a gun, which is prohibited due to his felony conviction. It was also reported that he had beaten a woman he was linked to romantically.
The Times said that their information came directly from three members of the law enforcement community with a direct connection to the case.
Flores’ mother even called his probation officer to inform him that her son was on drugs again after his release. She begged him for help, but the probation officer refused to discuss her son’s case with her.
It turns out, the probation officer had not seen Flores in over six months. All of these listed offenses were violations of his probation and should have put him back behind bars.
The probation department had ample opportunities to have him apprehended, but never did.
Now, two officers are dead, Flores committed suicide, and multiple families are left asking why.
Former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson weighed in.
“Nobody made it a priority. I think everybody saw this guy as a potential problem, but everyone was playing the odds that he would be brought in before there was a potential problem,” she said. “And they lost on those odds.”
As we have previously documented, Flores was a member of the Quiet Village Gang and carried quite a lengthy criminal record.
He was convicted for burglary, driving violations and numerous drug possessions.
In 2021, he was placed on probation as part of a plea deal after he was convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun.
LA DA George Gascon’s office faced heavy criticism for the plea deal, as has the probation department for their handling of Flores after he became their responsibility.
He was most recently instructed to appear in person with his probation officer on June 6th. He was a no show.
That is when his mother, Lynn Covarrubias, called in to express her concerns.
“I told them my son and his wife were doing drugs and he needed help and him going back to jail wouldn’t help him, and the probation officer told me he couldn’t discuss his case with me,” Covarrubias said. “He said the only way he could get my son back into a program was if he did something wrong and to report it to the [sheriff’s department.]”
The officer couldn’t help her because Flores’ wife was listed as his next of kin.
While she extended her condolences to the families of the slain officers, Covarrubias maintains that her son wasn’t abusing anyone and that he didn’t kill himself in that shootout at the Siesta Inn. She says the blame for all three deaths lay in the hands of the probation department.
“I do feel the probation department should have stepped in and did more to help, to get him help. And they didn’t,” she said.
Following the murders of Santana and Paredes, an email was sent out within the probation department.
The Times said that it read, in part:
“Our field contact numbers reflect that staff are not going out enough in the community. Our caseloads are at an all-time low … we are also having a high rate of unsuccessful contacts.”
A spokesperson told the newspaper that it was unrelated to Flores. But they are starting an internal investigation on how things went where they did.
However, a person internal to the department, spoke anonymously, saying that the department chief called an emergency meeting to discuss the failures of officers to see their probationers face-to-race.
“He said, ‘we need to make sure that everybody is conducting supervision, have all your officers conduct an audit to make sure we’re making the supervision contacts.’ The words [the chief used] were ‘all hands on-deck,'” the person said.
Was it just a general conversation, or is the department doing damage control in case the fingers all come back pointed at them?
But Levinson said that the probation office is not the only one to blame. Multiple agencies missed the warning signs with Flores.
“We don’t do a lot to individualize our defendants. You’re either the drug defendant and it’s just a drug problem, or a violent defendant who we have to take seriously,” Levenson said. “What we don’t anticipate is how a person on drugs can quickly become violent.”
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Suspect who murdered two El Monte police officers was on probation for gun charge, should have been behind bars
LOS ANGELES, CA- According to a report from Fox News, the suspect who murdered two El Monte police officers was on probation for a gun charge.
California cop killer Justin Flores received slap on wrist after weapons arrest. Criminals do not follow gun laws. @SenToomey @LindseyGrahamSC @SenatorBurr @JohnCornyn @SenSchumer @SenBobCasey https://t.co/AQjUc5RSUG
— RagoMaria🍊🇺🇸🚛 ✝️☦️🇮🇹🇺🇸 (@RagoMaria1) June 16, 2022
Justin Flores, who has been accused of killing two police officers during a shootout, was a known gang member and was on probation for a weapons charge after receiving a lenient sentence under a plea deal thanks to District Attorney George Gascon’s progressive policies.
Flores had a previous strike conviction and received two years probation for a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. This sentence is in accordance with Gascon’s policies that put convicted felons back on the streets without any remorse for the victims.
Those policies allowed Flores to plead no contest and receive a light sentence despite having a strike on his criminal record.
Sources with the district attorney’s office said that if Flores had been prosecuted under the normal procedure, instead of Gascon’s progressive policies, he would have likely been sentenced for up to three years in prison.
Instead, Flores was released back to the streets and murdered two police officers. This incident is likely to direct more criticism at Gascon, who is facing a second recall of his policies. The recall campaign announced that it has collected the number of signatures required to let the voters decide.
Justin William Flores who killed two El Monte, California police officers during a shootout was a gang member on probation for a weapons charge after receiving a lenient sentence under a plea deal. #RecallGascon https://t.co/IJR18gtg94 pic.twitter.com/GFQglaolWm
— Jayne (@Jayne720) June 16, 2022
Reportedly, Flores’ first strike stems from a conviction for burglarizing his own grandparent’s home nearly a decade ago. The felony firearm charge comes from a 2020 arrest where he was also charged for possession of drugs for personal use. A statement from Gascon’s office said:
“The sentence he received in the firearm case was consistent with case resolutions for this type of offense given his criminal history and the nature of the offense. At the time the court sentenced him, Mr. Flores did not have a documented history of violence.”
LA Superior Court records show that Flores was sentenced in February 2021 to 20 days in jail and two years probation after he pleaded no contest to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm following an arrest in March of 2020.
Prosecutors also dismissed two other counts when Flores entered the plea; one for being a felon in possession of ammunition and another of being in possession of methamphetamine. Records show that Flores was considered a felon because of a 2011 conviction for a burglary that led to a two-year term in state prison.
Court records also showed nearly a dozen other prosecutions, many resolved with no contest pleas and probationary sentences for charges such as driving with a suspended license, being under the influence of a controlled substance, or resisting arrest.
Flores wife, Diana Flores, said that the 911 call was made when she was with her husband at the motel. Diana said:
“I’m so deeply sorry. My condolences for saving me. I’m so sorry. They didn’t deserve that. They were trying to help me.”
#California #JustinWilliamFlores #JustinFlores #GeorgeGascon
Justin William Flores, who killed 2 El Monte Police Officers, was out probation for a weapons charge after receiving a lenient sentence under a plea deal. Thanks to DA Gascon's policies. https://t.co/lDop0GE1o0
— R_William (@RWilliam1987) June 16, 2022
According to a report from the New York Post, a day before the deadly shooting, Flores’ probation officer filed for a revocation hearing after the suspect allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, which is a violation of his probation.
Instead of being arrested and put in jail, Flores was allowed to stay on the streets ahead of a June 27th hearing. The two officers came under fire after knocking on the door of a room at the Siesta Inn.
Flores reportedly followed his wife to the hotel, where she booked a room to escape him after he allegedly stabbed her a day earlier. Diana said she warned the officers that her husband was not in the right state of mind and that he had a gun. She said:
“I love my husband to death, but … this wasn’t my husband. This was a monster. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt in this. I am so deeply sorry. They didn’t deserve that or their families. They really didn’t. They were trying to help me.”
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