EL MONTE, California (KABC) — Police officers and community members gathered in El Monte on Saturday to pay tribute to two officers who died on the job.
Several hundred people showed up at the El Monte Moose Lodge in honor of Sgt. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana, who were shot on June 14 during a report of a stabbing at a motel.
The event raised money to help their families. Hosted by ABC7’s Sid Garcia, it included live music, a meal and a raffle to raise money for the officers’ families.
“The family needs to know that we support them,” said Judith Gunther, an El Monte resident who attended the event. “I think that’s very important.”
The suspect, 35-year-old parole officer Justin William Flores, ran out of the room after shooting the two officers and exchanged gunshots with at least one other officer in a parking lot. He then died after shooting himself in the head.
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“The community is suffering from this event,” said Dan Glass, a retired police detective in El Monte. “There is no way for them to be a part of anything unless they do events like this to show the family that their loved one is gone, but we respect them and recognize them for the service they have provided and to show those families that we love them.”
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