Authorities have identified the off-duty Monterey Park police officer who was shot and killed in a gym parking lot in Downey on Monday night.
Gardiel Solorio, age 26, was hired by Monterey Park in January of this year, after graduating from Cal State LA with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
“He was only 26 years old. I don’t know about you but I have children that age,” said Chief Kelly Gordon of the Monterey Park Police Department during a Tuesday press conference. She called the shooting “a senseless act of violence.”
Solorio was a new hire, who graduated from the Los Angeles County Sheriff Academy on July 22nd, and enrolled in a field training program just days later.
Academy staff said Solorio, a native of Bell Gardens, was “hard working, dedicated, [and] took training seriously,” according to Gordon.
They added that he was family oriented, and enrolled in the police department to be a role model for his nephews and make an impact on the community.
“His family wanted me to share he was proud to be a police officer, serving his community,” Gordon said.
Solorio is survived by his mother, father, brothers, sisters and fiancee.
Police said they will release more information in the near future, but could not share details about possible leads on Tuesday because they did not want to compromise the investigation.
Downey police are working with Monterey Police and the District Attorney’s office to gather more information.