Los Angeles

Multiple arrests made in fatal shooting of off-duty Monterey Park police officer

After days of searching, authorities have arrested multiple suspects wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Gardiel Solorio, an off-duty Monterey Park police officer. 

Information on the suspects arrested was not immediately available, though officers were expected to provide details at a news conference slated for 2 p.m. on Wednesday. 

The initial shooting occurred at around 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon in the parking lot of an LA Fitness gym located in the 12700 block of Lakewood Boulevard in Downey. The off-duty officer was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds inside of his Dodge Charger.

Despite revival efforts from both Downey Fire Department and a good Samaritan, Solorio was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigation revealed that the driver’s side window of the his vehicle had been blown out. 

On Monday, Downey Police Captain Scott Loughner said, “We can’t release too much, we are definitely looking for a suspect right now. There might be multiple suspects.”

Officer Gardiel Solorio, 26, had just recently joined the Monterey Park Police Department as a recruit in January and had most recently graduated from training academy and began field training in late July. He was a Bell Gardens native and a California State University, Los Angeles graduate. The youngest of 13 children, Solorio was described as a family oriented man who was “hard-working, dedicated and took every aspect of training seriously,” as detailed by fellow police.

“Although his time with (the department) was very short, we all knew from the moment we met him that he had the heart of service and was going to be a great officer,” said Chief Kelly Gordon. “The family and department are grieving right now, and this is an especially difficult tragedy. It’s a senseless act of violence. He was only 26 years old. I don’t know about all of you, but I have children that age. So to me this is particularly difficult.”

Friends, family and loved ones have gathered to mourn Solorio over recent days, remembering him for several reasons, including his affinity for working out. 

“He was just an amazing guy,” said friend Jenny Escobar. “I just can’t believe that he’s gone. He used to teach us how to workout.”

Flower arrangements and messages of condolences were displayed throughout the Monterey Police Department headquarters on Wednesday.

A miles long procession of first responders led the way as Solorio’s body was transported to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office Monday evening, as they paid respect to their fallen colleague. 

This is a developing story. More to come. 

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