WHITTIER – A Whittier police officer was shot and killed today and another one was wounded by a suspected 26-year-old gang member who had been driving a stolen car, Whittier police said.
Officer Keith Boyer, a 25-year veteran of the Whittier Police Department and band member of local band Mrs. Jones’ Revenge, was killed shortly after arriving to the scene of a car accident in the area of Colima Road and Mar Vista Street.
The suspect had rear-ended some motorists at a stop light and asked the people in the car he struck to help him move the disabled vehicle, according to Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina.
Police were called to the location at 8:04 a.m., according to a Whittier PD watch commander.
Officers arriving at the scene, Boyer and Officer Patrick Hazel, were told by motorists that the suspect was around the corner with the disabled car, Corina said.
When officers approached the suspect, he was sitting in his car. As they asked him out of the car and prepared to pat him down for weapons, he pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and began firing at officers, Corina said.
Hazel and the unidentified suspect were wounded in the incident.
Corina said the suspect was Hispanic, a resident of Los Angeles, had been out of prison on parole for about two weeks and was driving a vehicle stolen in East Los Angeles. He was released after serving 11 days on a robbery charge under AB-109.
The shooting suspect is also a suspect in the murder of his cousin, according to published reports.
The suspect’s gun was recovered at the scene, Corina said.
Paramedics dispatched at 8:17 a.m. to Colima Road and Mar Vista rushed the two police officers to UCI Medical Center, according to a county fire department dispatcher.
Boyer died from his injuries at UCI Medical Center and Hazel was listed in stable condition, Corina said.
The suspect, although in stable condition, was at an area hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
A Whittier Police SUV was observed at the scene with a shattered driver’s side window.
Boyer was taken from UCI Medical Center to the Orange County Coroner’s Office this afternoon in a 10-minute motorcade surrounded by police cars and other public safety officers showing their respect. Traffic was held while the motorcade passed through Orange County streets.