LOS ANGELES — A Stockton police officer was fatally shot Tuesday while still inside his police SUV, marking the second California officer to be killed in the line of duty in 24 hours.
Paramedics rushed the Stockton officer and the male suspect to a nearby hospital with multiple gunshot wounds following the 10:30 a.m. shooting. Both later died.
The officer’s black and white sports utility vehicle was still at the scene on Le Cresta Way. Witnesses reported seeing gunfire toward the police vehicle.
In San Luis Obispo, the police chief Tuesday identified the officer gunned down during the serving of a search warrant for stolen property as Luca Benedetti. Benedetti was one of six officers assisting with serving the warrant at a Camellia Court apartment when a gunman opened fire from inside at about 5:30 p.m. Monday.
The suspect was identified as Edward Zimon Giron, 37. He was killed as officers returned fire.
A second officer was wounded during that incident and he was identified as Steve Orozco, police said. He was treated and released from Sierra Vista Hospital on Monday evening.
“Yesterday was an absolute tragedy,” San Luis Obispo Police Chief Rick Scott said at a news conference. “An officer died serving this community. This tragic loss will be deeply felt.”
The search warrant was related to a series of late-night burglaries in the community. The officers approached the apartment address and announced their presence and when they got no reply opted to force their way inside the front door, police said.
According to police, Giron was waiting inside and as officers crossed the apartment threshold he began firing from deeper in the apartment. The two officers were immediately cut down by his rounds and colleagues managed to drag them out of the line of further fire while shooting back at Giron, police said.
Family members or other representatives for Giron could not be immediately reached for comment.
It is unclear if there were independent witnesses to the shooting.