Man who fatally shot California officer a suspect in another shooting

Three people were wounded Monday in an officer-involved shooting in Whittier

Three people were wounded Monday in an officer-involved shooting in Whittier

Hundreds of mourners gathered outside the police headquarters in a candlelight vigil at night honoring Boyer, 53, who was killed in a gun battle that broke out as he investigated a traffic accident.

Boyer and Officer Patrick Hazell didn't know Monday when they were responding to the scene of a auto crash that the driver allegedly had killed his cousin hours earlier in neighboring East Los Angeles and stolen his vehicle.

The second officer and the male suspect were in stable condition.

Thus far, we don't know whether Boyer's killer was released from prison under one of those laws, or under Prop. 57, passed in November, which provides for early release in some circumstances.

Stay with KCRA for updates.

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Officials said the driver confronted the officers and opened fire with a semiautomatic handgun. Police didn't immediately name the suspect.

The grieving chief said Boyer was a close friend of many years, and a beloved officer within the department who had recently talked about retiring soon.

The Whittier Police Department has about 125 sworn officers who patrol Whittier and Santa Fe Springs.

Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper said Mejia is an example of how statewide efforts to reduce incarceration of certain criminals can have tragic consequences.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said two officers responded to a crash of a vehicle that was believed to be stolen that struck two other cars at a stop light.

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It all started when police responded to a auto accident involving the suspect and another vehicle.

Officer Boyer was a 27-year veteran of the department and is survived by several children.

Proposition 57, which passed a year ago, changed California's "three strikes" rule and made sentencing more flexible, allowing some prisoners who wouldn't normally have been eligible for early parole to be considered for release.

"This is a senseless tragedy that did not need to happen", Piper said. "People don't want to follow rules. Right now, we are putting people on the streets who are not ready to be on the streets".

The officers were responding at the time to a report of a traffic collision in the area, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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In Los Angeles County, the jail population has decreased, from 18,500 inmates just before Proposition 47 passed to about 16,500 inmates in November.

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