Piper and Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell attributed Boyer's death to Assembly Bill 109, known as Realignment, and to Proposition 47, which turned some felony offenses into misdemeanors.
Officers have since learned that the auto the man was driving was allegedly stolen and the suspect is accused of shooting his 46-year-old cousin, Roy Torres, just hours before the police shooting, the Times reports. It left Hazell and the suspected gunman hospitalized and Whittier in shock.
Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper said Mejia is an example of how statewide efforts to reduce incarceration of certain criminals can have tragic consequences. "It's hard for me to hold back my tears". As they asked him to get out of the auto and prepared to pat him down for weapons, he pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and began firing at the officers, at least one of whom returned fire, wounding the suspect, Corina said. The other drivers helped push the suspect's vehicle around the corner.
Police say another officer and a suspected gang member were also injured.
"They start patting him down for weapons - he's got tattoos all over his face and a gang attire - and that's when he pulls out a gun and engages in a gun fight".
The fallen officer, Keith Boyer, was 53 and survived by two adult sons, California Governor Jerry Brown said in a statement expressing condolences.
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The surviving officer and suspect are now in stable condition, according to Corina.
Authorities have not released many other details, and it was not immediately clear what prompted the shooting.
But Piper and McDonnell criticized laws created to reduce the state's overcrowded prison population by moving some inmates to county jails and effectively reducing some sentences or providing early release.
Boyer was a divorced father of grown children, a drummer who played in bands for nonprofit events and a "personal friend of mine for 25 years", Piper said, adding he had occasionally played guitar with Boyer in that band. Jerry Brown in 2011.
At the candlelight vigil, he promised to write a song in Boyer's honor.
Boyer joined the force as a dispatcher and jailer in 1989 and became a full-time officer in 1990.