EL MONTE, CA – According to reports, the 35-year-old gang member and convicted felon accused of gunning down two El Monte Police officers earlier in June was reportedly out on probation at the time of the slayings, with the probation sentence stemming from a 2020 case involving an unlawfully possessed firearm.

On the afternoon of June 14th, El Monte Police Officer Joseph Santana and Corporal Michael Paredes responded to a reported stabbing in progress at the Siesta Inn Motel located off of 10327 Garvey Avenue near the I-10, where they reportedly came under immediate fire when trying to make contact with the suspect, Justin Flores.

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Speaking with a local CBS outlet, Flores’ wife, Diana, said the 911 call was made while she and her husband were at the aforementioned motel. Local reports note that following the incident, no evidence was found at the scene indicating a stabbing had occurred.

During the exchanged gunfire with Flores, Officer Santana, and Cpl. Paredes were fatally shot, as well as the suspect.

Diana Flores told the local CBS outlet that she’s “sorry” that the officers who came to her aid were killed, saying, “I’m so deeply sorry. My condolences for saving me. I’m so sorry. They didn’t deserve that. They were trying to help me.”

Prior to the fatal shooting, Flores had reportedly been sentenced to prison on two occasions; once in a 2009 case for vehicle theft where he served only two months of a 16-month sentence, and in a 2011 case for burglary where he served nine months out of a two-year sentence.

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However, after Flores was discharged from his supervision for the burglary case in 2016, he still managed to run into legal issues – although his next felony would be committed under the reign of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon.

In March of 2020, Flores was arrested under charges of felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, and possession of methamphetamine. In November of that year, Gascon wound up winning the district attorney race, assuming office one month later – with Gascon having run on and later implementing what some have called a soft-on-crime approach.

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In February of 2021, Flores was sentenced to 20 days in jail and two years of probation after pleading no contest to the felon in possession of a firearm charge, with the district attorney’s office outright dropping the ammunition and methamphetamine charges.

Fox News’ Bill Melugin shared a statement from Gascon’s office that stood by their decision to have placed Flores on probation for the 2020 gun offense, claiming that the sentence was “consistent” with the practices of the DA’s office at the time.

Image Credit: Twitter

Melugin posted further criticisms of Gason on Twitter, highlighting how the Los Angeles DA was boasting earlier in June about how there needs to be more “sensible gun laws” enacted to prevent violent crime.

“LA DA George Gascon recently spoke about the need for sensible gun laws. CA has some of the toughest gun laws, if they are enforced. His office gave a felon/gang member w/ a prior strike a plea deal for probation on his gun charge instead of prison. He killed 2 cops on Tuesday.”

Image Credit: Twitter


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