Due to an early release law intended to reduce incarcerations in California, a gang member was released on parole within the past two weeks.
Monday he fatally shot his cousin, then gunned down two police officers, killing one and wounding the other, in Whittier, California.
Michael Christopher Mejia, 26, had already racked up an extensive criminal history, serving time in prison for a 2010 robbery and a 2014 auto theft. Since getting out of prison in April 2016, Mejia had served at least four 10-day stints in jail for violating his probation. Most recently, he had just been released from jail again on February 11.
Nine days later, on February 20, he killed his cousin, Roy Torres, 47, then stole Torres’ car and rear-ended two other vehicles in the upscale Los Angeles community of Whittier.
Unaware of the murder Mejia had just committed, Whittier police officers Keith Boyer and Patrick Hazel responded to the accident. When they approached the suspect’s car, he got out of the vehicle, and they proceeded to pat him down for possible weapons.
Mejia reportedly yanked out an automatic handgun and shot both officers at close range. One of the officers was able to return fire, wounding the suspect as well.
The two officers and the suspect were all taken to the hospital, where Officer Boyer, 53, a 27-year veteran of the police force who was considering retiring, was pronounced dead.
Officer Hazel is expected to recover.
Police officials are speaking out against the early release program that is putting criminals back on the streets.
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) February 21, 2017
H/T: LA Times
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