Authorities: Slain California police officer was targeted - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Authorities: Slain California police officer was targeted

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DOWNEY, Calif. (AP) - A suspected getaway driver was arrested Thursday in the shooting death of a police officer in California in what investigators called a deliberate, targeted attack in a public parking lot next to his department's headquarters.

Downey police Officer Ricardo "Ricky" Galvez, 29, was in plainclothes in the driver's seat of his personal car at the end of his shift when two men ran up and opened fire late Wednesday, Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina said. The five-year department veteran died in the car.

Another officer heard the gunshots and pursued the attackers as they fled into the neighboring city of Montebello. Investigators arrested a man suspected of driving the getaway car and detectives were interviewing others who were detained, Corina said.

Authorities didn't say why Galvez was targeted and indicated the attackers might not have known he was a police officer. Detectives don't suspect it was an act of terrorism.

Corina said detectives believed the shooting was targeted because of the speed that the men approached Galvez in his car.

"It appeared to be an ambush style. It happened very quickly," Corina said after viewing surveillance video of the shooting. "They either knew him or were going to rob him."

Corina said he wasn't immediately able to tell if words were exchanged before Galvez was shot.

SWAT officers swept neighborhoods and detained several people after the shooting.

Montebello resident Victor Bocanegra said police knocked on his door shortly after 2 a.m. and escorted his family to the street while evacuating other buildings. He said he saw police put at least two people into patrol cars and drive away.

"My family's scared," Bocanegra told KABC-TV.

Downey Police Chief Carl Charles praised Galvez's professionalism and said the officer loved serving the suburban city.

"Words cannot express the love we have for Ricky," he said.

Galvez was a Marine veteran from the Downey area. He was single and lived close to his siblings and other family members, Charles said at a news conference.

Dozens of officers saluted as police carried Galvez's American flag-draped body from the crime scene to a coroner's van.

Downey is a city of about 110,000 residents 10 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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