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Veteran Detective Luca Benedetti Identified As San Luis Obispo Police Officer Killed In Shootout

SAN LUIS OBISPO (CBS SF) -- San Luis Obispo Police Detective Luca Benedetti was identified as the officer killed Monday while serving a search warrant in the Central California city, the department announced Tuesday.

Benedetti, a 12-year law enforcement veteran, was among six SLO police officers who were serving a warrant at an apartment near Margarita Ave. and South Higuera St. for possible stolen property from a series of commercial burglaries when the suspect, Edward Zamora Giron, opened fire on officers.

Giron, 37, was found dead following the incident.

A second officer, Detective Steve Orozco, was injured in the shooting and taken to a hospital where he was treated and released. Orozco is expected to fully recover from his injuries.

Luca Benedetti
Detective Luca Benedetti (San Luis Obispo Police Department)

"Our community is heartbroken," said Mayor Heidi Harmon in a prepared statement. "Detective Benedetti loved this City and bravely gave his life so that we could live in peace and safety. Luca's children have lost their father so we could be safe. We will hold Detective Benedetti and his family in our hearts forever."

Detective Benedetti is survived by his wife and two young children. He joined the San Luis Obispo Police Department in 2012 after serving four years with the Atascadero Police Department.

According to police, as officers approached the apartment, they knocked and identified themselves as law enforcement. After receiving no response, they forced open the front door, but Giron was lying in wait and began shooting at officers from inside the apartment.

Officers returned fire and retreated, but Benedetti and Orozco were shot in the exchange of gunfire.

Giron was later found dead inside the apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He also had been shot in the exchange of gunfire with officers.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office will be conducting the investigation into the shooting in coordination with the District Attorney's Office.

"I had the distinct pleasure of working with Luca over the past 9 years," Acting SLO Police Chief Brian Amoroso said. "He was a dedicated officer, a talented detective, a proud member of the San Luis Obispo Regional SWAT Team, and most importantly, a loving husband and father."

"The entire SLOPD is grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the community," Amoroso added. "We are also grateful for the continued support from our Central Coast law enforcement partners and beyond. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office along with allied law enforcement agencies in the county will respond to calls for service in the City of San Luis Obispo during the coming days while members of the SLOPD grieve and work through this tragedy," he added.

Benedetti was one of two California police officers killed in the line of duty in 24 hours. On Tuesday, Stockton police office Jimmy Inn was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute.



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