LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was shot and killed during an attempted armed robbery in South L.A. Monday night.
At about 9:15 p.m., L.A. County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call of a shooting in an alley near the 8700 block of Beach Street in South L.A.
Deputies arrived on scene to find an off-duty officer with gunshot wounds. The deputies loaded him into one of their patrol cars and rushed him to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where he died. He was identified Tuesday by LAPD Chief Michel Moore as 27-year-old Fernando Arroyos, a three-year veteran of the department.
According to the sheriff's department, investigators learned that a black pickup truck had approached Arroyos while he was with his girlfriend looking at homes in the area. Three suspects, at least one of whom was armed, exited the truck. Following an argument, there was an exchange of gunfire and Arroyos was struck. The suspects then jumped back into the pickup and sped away. Arroyos' girlfriend was not hurt.
"My dad was outside feeding the dog and that's when we heard screams of 'help, help, help," said Alondra Eniso, a neighbor.
Two guns were recovered at the scene. One is believed to belong to the officer, and the other to one of the three suspects.
Tuesday, a solemn salute by first responders from all over the Southland happened as the body of Arroyos was escorted to the coroner's office.
Sheriff's investigators said Tuesday a total of five people, three men and two women, have been detained for questioning in the investigation into the fatal shooting. No arrests have yet been reported.
"We're very limited as to how much information we have, but we know that we need the community's help," Moore told reporters late Monday night. "And we also have every faith and confidence that we'll identify the person or persons responsible for this terrible attack and this grievous loss."
A procession was held at about 5 a.m. Tuesday to transport Arroyos' body from the hospital to the L.A. County coroner's office in Boyle Heights. Officers and firefighters from multiple agencies lined the streets in Boyle Heights.
"This man died a hero trying to defend himself and his girlfriend," L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
"He had a promising future, a bright future, that was taken away viciously, over a street robbery," Moore told the LAPD Board of Police Commissioners Tuesday.
The union which represents LAPD officers also released a statement about the shooting.
"Tonight, we mourn the loss of one of our officers who was shot & killed in an armed robbery attempt," the Los Angeles Police Protective League tweeted early Tuesday morning. "The officer was off-duty. We pray for the officer's family, and their fellow officers, during this time of pain and sorrow. This is an active investigation. More info to follow."
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