On Wednesday November 18, a 29-year-old Downey police officer was shot to death while sitting in his own car. According to news reports at Fox News, Officer Ricardo “Ricky” Galvez, a former Marine, was in plain clothes and sitting in his own vehicle when two men ran up and opened fire on Galvez.
News reports state that in all, three attackers were arrested within hours of the shooting, which authorities believe occurred as the result of a botched robbery. The three attackers were 16, 18, and 21 and were reportedly on the lookout for someone to rob when they saw the officer sitting in his car.
Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. said that Galvez had just ended his shift when the attack happened, and that he believed the attackers did not know he was a police officer when they attempted to rob him. Corina did not believe Galvez saw the young men coming toward him. The gunshots were heard by another officer who chased the suspects as they fled into Montebello. SWAT officers swept surrounding neighborhoods in their attempt to capture the three men; the getaway driver was arrested a short time later, and a gun found that was believed to be the one used in the shooting.
All three suspected are scheduled to appear in court on charges of murder on Monday, however prosecutors have not yet decided whether the 16-year-old will be charged as an adult.
Located about 10 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Downey has approximately 110,000 residents.
Murder is the most serious criminal offense a person may be charged with, and could result in life in prison for those found guilty. While authorities believe the three suspects in this case had set out to rob the police officer, there is no way to know at this point if they intended to kill him. Prosecutors must prove every element of a crime in order for the defendant to be found guilty. In the case of first-degree or felony murder, it must be proven beyond a doubt the defendant(s) in a way that is unlawful, deliberate, and premeditated. In the case above, a defendant may be charged with first-degree murder with “special circumstances,” as the person who was murdered was a police officer. Those found guilty of first-degree murder with special circumstances may face the death penalty, or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
While murder is no doubt a heinous crime, there are instances in which someone loses his or her life when the intent was not murder, but something went wrong. Regardless, anyone who is arrested or charged with a homicide offense or any serious criminal offense must work with a skilled and aggressive Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer in order to reach the best possible result, and protect your freedom and future to the greatest extent possible. There are legal options, and in some cases it may be possible to have charges dismissed or reduced so that the damage to the defendant’s life is minimized.
Perhaps you have been wrongly accused, or were involved in circumstances that went horribly wrong. Whatever the situation, consult with a seasoned defense attorney who will review your case, investigate the details, and work to secure the best possible outcome.