California officer killed, another injured following early morning shootout

Posted February 22, 2017

Corina said witnesses identified the shooter as possibly the gunman involved in a murder earlier Monday involving a stolen auto the gunman ultimately crashed in Whittier.

Officer Boyer, 53, was a 28-year veteran of the department.

The parolee accused of fatally gunning down Whittier Officer Keith Boyer was identified as 26-year-old Michael Mejia on Tuesday.

Monday's shootout left Hazell and the suspected gunman hospitalized.

Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper said Mejia is an example of how statewide efforts to reduce incarceration of certain criminals can have tragic consequences.

The chief also said Boyer's killing showed how California's laws make the streets less safe. "It's hard for me to hold back my tears".

A Whittier police officer was killed and another was wounded when they were fired upon while responding to a traffic accident Monday morning, authorities said. After getting out of the vehicle, he asked the occupants of a auto he hit to help him push the vehicle out of the intersection, a sheriff's news release stated.

The officers were able to wound the suspect who's name was not released.

"When they get him out of the vehicle, they go to pat him down for weapons, they can see he's got tattoos all over his face and all over his neck", Corina said at a news conference. One driver - in a stolen auto - opened fire on officers.

At a news conference more than two hours after the shooting, authorities confirmed one of the officers struck by gunfire had died.

When the three Whittier officers arrived on scene and approached the suspect, he pulled a gun from his waistband and began to shoot at close range.

But Piper and McDonnell criticized laws created to reduce the state's overcrowded prison population by moving some inmates to county jails and effectively reducing some sentences or providing early release. "It's not good for our community (and) it's not good for our officers", Piper said on Monday.