Calif cop killer who viciously gunned down two cops had been slapped on wrist since 2011 for gun crimes

(Video Credit: CBS Los Angeles)

Two California police officers were tragically gunned down by a suspect who was on probation for illegally possessing a firearm and had been banned from carrying a gun since 2011.

Justin Flores, 35, was the alleged killer who took down El Monte Police Cpl. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana at a motel in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The officers had responded to a report of a stabbing.

Paredes and Santana came under fire by Flores after knocking on the door of a room at the Siesta Inn Tuesday afternoon. The shooting incident began in the motel room and ended in the parking lot with the suspect and both officers dead.

Flores had served two prison terms for burglary and car theft. He pleaded no contest to possessing a gun last winter, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Prosecutors dismissed two counts when Flores entered the plea; one for being a felon in possession of ammunition and another for being in possession of methamphetamine. The weapons charge potentially could have sent Flores back to prison for three years. Instead, he got a slap on the wrist and got two years probation with 20 days of time served.

Court records also reportedly show at least a dozen other prosecutions, many ended with no contest pleas and probationary sentences, for charges such as driving with a suspended license, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and resisting arrest. Flores had a long rap sheet.

The day before the officers were killed, Flores’ probation officer filed for a revocation hearing following the alleged assault of his girlfriend last week, according to a report from the police.

Flores was allowed to remain free and on his own recognizance ahead of his June 27 hearing. The Los Angeles County Probation Department is now investigating why Flores was not arrested over the violation. Many blame lax leftist policies implemented by California Democrats.

Flores’ wife, Diana, claimed that she tried to warn the officers that her husband had a gun before he shot and killed them. She told CBSLA that she had called 911 on her husband and that she was deeply sorry for what he did as the officers tried to save her.

She had gone to the motel to hide from her husband after he stabbed her the day before, according to NBC Los Angeles. He followed her there. The terrified wife fled the motel when the officers arrived and the shooting started.

“I love my husband to death but … this wasn’t my husband. This was a monster,” Diana Flores claimed.

“I didn’t want anyone to get hurt in this,” she told NBC in an interview. “I am so deeply sorry. They didn’t deserve that, or their families. They really didn’t. They were trying to help me and I told them before they went in the room, ‘Don’t go in. He has a gun.'”

(Video Credit: CBS Los Angeles)

“We don’t have all the facts yet,” El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona commented. She said the officers were “essentially ambushed.”

Both officers were from the San Gabriel Vally city of El Monte with a population of approximately 110,000. There was a massive outpouring of support, grief, and honor for the two hometown heroes killed in the line of duty.

“They grew up here; to us, they’re El Monte homegrown,” Ancona sadly declared. “They’re our boys.”

“They were good men,” Capt. Ben Lowry, the El Monte Police Department’s acting chief, told the Los Angeles Times. “These two heroes paid the ultimate sacrifice today. They were murdered by a coward.”

A police station memorial filled with candles and flowers was laid out in their honor. It was adorned with US flags and “thank you” signs left by community residents.

(Video Credit: KTLA 5)

“Corporal Paredes and Officer Santana paid the ultimate sacrifice,” the city of El Monte wrote in a press release, “while in performance of a noble profession, serving the community they loved.”

Santana was 31 years old. He is survived by his wife, twin sons, and a daughter.

Paredes was 42 years old and a 22-year veteran of the force. He leaves behind his wife, a son, and a daughter.

There have only been two other officers in the department who have died in the line of duty before the deaths of Santana and Paredes, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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