The suspect accused of murdering two California police officers during a shootout Tuesday was a gang member out on probation after receiving a lenient sentence under a plea deal negotiated by the office of progressive Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon.
According to Fox News, Justin William Flores, who died at the scene, is accused of killing two El Monte police officers Tuesday night. He had a previous strike conviction and received two years probation after he was charged of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Recall efforts are already in the works against Gascon, who was recently reprimanded by a California appeals court over his refusal to prosecute three-strike cases. The activist DA was elected in 2020 with the backing of billionaire George Soros and endorsements by the Democratic Party in Los Angeles and throughout California.
Gascon’s office said in a statement that the sentence is in accordance with the policies of the District Attorney. "The sentence he received in the firearm case was consistent with case resolutions for this type of offense given his criminal history and the nature of the offense. At the time the court sentenced him, Mr. Flores did not have a documented history of violence."
As a result, Flores was able to plead no contest and receive a light sentence, even though he had a strike on his criminal record.
According to the DA’s office, Flores received his first strike stems after being convicted for burglarizing his grandparent's home over ten years ago. In 2020, he was arrested and charged for felony firearms possession and was also charged for possession of drugs for personal use.
According to Fox News sources in the DA’s office, if Flores would have been prosecuted in under the normal procedure, he would have likely been sentenced for up to three years in prison.
On Wednesday, the recall campaign against Gascon announced that they had collected the required number of signatures for the question to go before the voters.
According to law enforcement officials, Cpl. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana were responding to reports of a stabbing at a local motel when they encountered a suspect. A shootout broke out and both officers were struck and later died in a Los Angeles hospital.
Paredes was a 22 year veteran of the force and left behind a wife, daughter and son. Santana leaves behind a wife, daughter and a pair of twin boys.
The shootings occurred a day after a California Highway Patrol officer was shot by a suspect in Los Angeles. He remains in the hospital and is expected to survive.
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