Whittier, CA: Community mourns the loss of a Whittier Police Department Officer who died after being shot during a shootout.

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Whittier, CA: Community mourns the loss of a Whittier Police Department Officer who died after being shot during a shootout.

A community is mourning the loss of a slain Whittier Police Department Officer following a shootout with authorities on Monday, February 20th, 2017.

Just after 8:00am PT, officers responded to a crash in the area of Colima Road and Mar Vista Street in Whittier, California where allegedly a driver of a stolen car had struck two other cars at a stop light.

When the officers arrived, they were told by the victims that the driver who had struck them was around the corner.

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** Picture from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

Officers got the man out of the car and began patting him down for weapons, but during the pat down, the man pulled out a gun and started shooting as officers returned fire and wounded the man.

All 3 people were rushed to the hospital where an officer was pronounced dead.

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** Picture from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri confirmed to NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4 that the officer slain in the line of duty was identified as Keith Boyer, a 25 year veteran Whittier Police Officer.

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** Pictures from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

Keith Boyer’s body was escorted via motorcade from U.C. Irvine Medical Center to the Orange County Coroner’s Office in Santa Ana, California.

** Video from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

A long line of law enforcement officials saluted the officer’s flag-draped body as it was wheeled into the Orange County Coroner’s Office.

Another officer, later identified as Patrick Hazel, a 3 year veteran Whittier Police Officer, with the was wounded and in stable condition.

The identity of the gunman had not been released.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. John Corina, the suspect is described as a 26 year old man, a known gang member, with tattoos on his face and neck, and has been paroled approximately 10 days before the shootout.

Authorities said that the gunman was in the intensive care unit of the hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.

Further investigation revealed that the suspect was believed to be involved in a City Terrace, California murder earlier in the morning.

Authorities stated the shooting death happened in the 1400 block of Voleny Drive at about 5:30am PT.

In a statement, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “The senseless, cold-blooded killing of a Whittier Police officer today is a sad reminder of the dangerous risks that the men and women of law enforcement take every day in their mission to serve and protect communities in Southern California and across America. My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the slain and injured officers. I called Mayor Vinatieri this morning to express my condolences to the City of Whittier family, and to offer any assistance that Los Angeles can provide at this moment of grief. My hope is that everyone affected by this tragedy will find strength and peace in the midst of unthinkable heartbreak.”

** Video from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

A candlelight vigil was held at 6:00pm PT on Monday, February 20th, 2017 where hundreds of people, many in tears, over the loss of fallen Officer Keith Boyer.

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** Picture from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

During the candlelight vigil, Whittier Police Chief Piper spoke about fallen Officer Keith Boyer well trying to hold back in tears.

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** ZachNews sends our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the family and friends of Officer Keith Boyer. ZachNews also sends our thoughts and prayers to Officer Patrick Hazel who’s in the hospital. **

Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news updates with more information regarding this news story.

** Picture above from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

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