News Update!!: Whittier, CA: Identity and criminal history release on the gunman that killed a Whittier Police Department Officer in shootout.

ZachNews -- News Update!!

News Update!!: Whittier, CA: Identity and criminal history release on the gunman that killed a Whittier Police Department Officer in shootout.

The identity and criminal history on the gunman that killed a Whittier Police Department Officer during a shootout on Monday, February 20th, 2017 in Whittier, California was released on Tuesday, February 22nd, 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.

Both of the Whittier Police Department Officers and the gunman were rushed to the hospital where Whittier Police Department Officer Keith Boyer was pronounced dead.

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** Picture from the Whittier Police Department and NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

Officer Keith Boyer was a 25 year veteran with the Whittier Police Department who loved to play drums in a classic rock tribute and cover band that often performed for charity.

His band mates with Mrs. Jones’ Revenge was among the hundreds of people who mourned the fallen officer during a candlelight vigil on Monday, February 20th, 2017.

The band, Mrs. Jones’ Revenge, posted this message (Posted Above) on their Facebook page of the loss of their band mate and great friend, Officer Keith Boyer.

Officer Patrick Hazel, a 3 year veteran Whittier Police Officer, was transported to a hospital after being wounded in the shootout and had stable vital signs.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Lt. John Corina told news reporters that Officer Patrick Hazel, “looks like he’s going to live.”

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** Picture from the Whittier Police Department and NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department identified the gunman as 26 year old Michael Christopher Mejia, a resident of Los Angeles, California and a gang member.

Michael Christopher Mejia is believed to be involved in a murder homicide and car theft that occurred about 5:30am PT on Monday, February 20th, 2017 at a home in the 1400 block of Volney Drive in the City Terrace, California.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Lt. John Corina said witnesses identified the shooter in the shootout as possibly the gunman involved in a homicide and car theft which the stolen car ultimately crashed in Whittier, California.

Authorities said the victim in that shooting was identified as 49 year old Roy Torres and is reportedly a cousin of the gunman.

Michael Christopher Mejia was wounded in the shootout and was last reported hospitalized in an intensive care unit.

Since the shooting death of Officer Keith Boyer, more information has been release on the gunman’s criminal history.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Michael Christopher Mejia was sentenced to 4 years in prison in 2010 on a felony robbery charge as a member of a street gang and was paroled in 2014.

While on parole, Michael Christopher Mejia was arrested again on grand theft and vehicle theft charges and sentenced to an additional 2 years in prison.

According to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Spokesperson Jeffrey Callison, “None of the state’s recent criminal justice reforms — including AB 109, Proposition 47 or Proposition 57 — impacted when this individual was released from state prison.”

During the emotional news conference on Monday, February 20th, 2017, Whittier Police Department Chief Jeff Piper pointed to a series of statewide criminal justice initiatives implemented in the past few years that they said have led to the release of too many criminals.

We need to wake up. Enough is enough. Passing these propositions, you’re creating these laws that is raising crime. It’s not good for our communities and it’s not good for our officers. What you have today is an example of that. So we need to pull our head out of the sand and start realizing what we’re doing to our communities and to our officers who give their life like Officer Boyer did today. You have no idea how things have changed in the last four years. People don’t want to follow rules, don’t care about people,” said Whittier Police Department Chief Jeff Piper.

California Republican State Sen. Jeff Stone said that Officer Keith Boyer’s slaying “appears to be another example of the danger created by the passage of misleading propositions and bad legislation that have allowed dangerous criminals back onto the streets of California.”

Authorities said Michael Christopher Mejia had been released from Pelican State Prison in April 2016 and placed on probation under a reform measure known as Assembly Bill 109 that allowed some convicted felons to serve their sentences in county jails and serve probation instead of being sent to state prisons and paroled.

According to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Lt. John Corina, Michael Christopher Mejia had been arrested 5 times since April 2016 for violating his probation, most recently on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 for not cooperating with the search and seizure clause of his probation.

Michael Christopher Mejia was released on Saturday, February 11th, 2017.

Meanwhile, a memorial of flowers and balloons continued to grow outside the Whittier Police Department in Whittier, California in honor of slain Officer Keith Wayne Boyer.

If you have any information about either incident, you’re urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at: 1 (323) 890-5500.

You can also provide anonymous tips by calling Crime Stoppers at: 1 (800) 222-TIPS.

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** Picture from the Whittier Police Department: **

**** 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. We stand united with the Whittier Police Department and with the community of Whittier, California. ****

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

 

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