2 Fallen El Monte Officers Honored As ‘Brave Men’ at Vigil

Hundreds of San Gabriel Valley residents joined Saturday evening with public servants to unite at a vigil with family members of two slain El Monte police officers, who were remembered for their bravery and commitment to the community.

The sudden, violent loss of the two respected officers, Cpl. Michael Domingo Paredes, 42, and Officer Joseph Anthony Santana, 31 — both killed when they encountered a gunman inside the Siesta Inn on Garvey Avenue on Tuesday, June 14 — has shaken the overwhelmingly Latino community in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley.

“It’s unfortunate it takes tragedy to bring the community together. However, I am grateful that we are here to mourn the lives of these two brave men,” Mayor Jessica Ancona told the mourners Saturday gathered at the city’s Civic Center.

“They pursued their dreams and they did it with you — the family and the community,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, speaking in Spanish and English. “The community is standing with you.”

The pair of beloved officers were responding to a call about a possible stabbing just before 5 p.m. the day they died, officials said. They immediately came under gunfire and were taken to LAC + USC Medical Center, where they died. The suspect they encountered, Justin Flores, 35, also died in a shootout with police.

Both officers, raised in El Monte, had a strong connection to the community, according to  mourners who added to a collection of flowers and messages of thanks at the police station this week.

Paredes had served as a full-time officer with the department since July 2000, working several specialized assignments before achieving the rank of corporal, officials said. He started his law enforcement career as a cadet with El Monte police.

Santana initially joined the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in September 2018 and worked at  the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Sgt. M. Higgins, a SBCSD spokeswoman said. He was hired by the El Monte Police Department in 2021. He also previously worked with the city as a part-time public works employee prior to his law enforcement career.

He leaves behind his wife, a daughter and two twin boys.

Paredes also leaves behind his wife, a daughter and a son.

Olga Garcia, the mother of Santana, earlier this week described him as a reserved person who shared his relentless, cutting sense of dry humor with those he was close with. He liked to play basketball, was generous with his time when off-duty and always eager to help a friend in need.

While growing up, Santana looked up to his stepfather, who was also an El Monte police officer, his mother said. That relationship inspired him to pursue a career in law enforcement.

Like Santana, Paredes was also compelled to give back to the city that raised him, his uncle, Tony Paredes, said. He said that, as a child, the El Monte officer was kind,  attentive and respected his elders.

He recalled when his nephew approached him about joining the police academy in the late ’90s and asked him to write a letter recommending the then-aspiring officer to the department.

Mayor Ancona was teary Saturday night and earlier this week, as were many others throughout town, as she explained how the sudden, violent deaths of the city’s sons has left her community reeling.

“Heartbroken doesn’t begin to express the loss that we feel,” Ancona said Tuesday night. She noted both officers were “essentially ambushed while trying to keep a family safe.”

El Monte City Councilwoman Victoria Martinez Muela at the vigil offered condolences to the officers’ families.

When thinking about what she wanted to say Saturday, she started thinking about what provides comfort.

“A blanket,” said Martinez Muela. And like one beautiful tapestry, “all of us our own unique thread. But woven together we are so strong.”

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Dems Incoherent on Sacramento Shooting

The mass shooting in Sacramento last weekend that took six lives occurred one block from the Capitol offices of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. The following morning, I speculated on social media that it was probably gang members with criminal records. It didn’t take a Kreskin to make that sort of prediction which, of course, turned out to be accurate.

Nor does it take extraordinary clairvoyance to predict that progressives would, once again, blame “gun violence” rather than criminally inclined perpetrators. (I’ve often wondered why, when there is a murder committed with a knife, progressives never talk about “knife violence.”) True to form, both Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sacramento’s mayor, Darrell Steinberg, immediately blamed “gun violence” and called for more gun control laws notwithstanding the fact that California already has some of the strictest gun control laws in America and is currently considering more.

The issue of gun control aside, the progressive answer to any one of California’s many problems is to advance “solutions” that are ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. Here, their answer to civil unrest, increased crime and perceived excessive incarceration is to “defund” the police and grant early release to violent felons. Even when, as last week’s carnage reveals, these policies don’t work, the response is frequently doubling down with more of the same.

Click here to read the full article at San Gabriel Tribune

Second Suspect Arrested in Sacramento Mass Shooting Is Brother of Man Arrested Monday

Sacramento police have arrested a second suspect related to Sunday’s mass shooting downtown, announcing early Tuesday that the brother of the man arrested Monday is now in custody for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a machine gun.

Smiley Martin, 27, is the brother of Dandrae Martin, who was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail Monday on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, police said.

The mass shooting killed six and wounded 12, and police said Smiley Martin was one of the wounded who was found at the scene near 10th and K streets with “serious injuries” and taken to a hospital for treatment.

“Smiley Martin was quickly identified as a person of interest and has remained under the supervision of an officer at the hospital while his treatment continues,” police said in an announcement early Tuesday. “Based on information developed during this investigation, Smiley Martin was taken into custody by Sacramento Police Department detectives on April 5, 2022.

“Once Smiley Martin’s medical care has been completed and he is determined to be fit for incarceration, he will be booked at the Sacramento County Main Jail for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a machine gun.”

Online Sacramento Superior Court filings show criminal cases dating back years for individuals named Smiley Martin, but there appear to be different individuals with variations of that name and online records no longer provide personal identifying information online in Sacramento’s courts.

Smiley Martin posted a 15-minute Facebook Live video Saturday night, hours before the shooting, in which he appeared to be brandishing a semiautomatic handgun toward the camera at times. The authenticity of the video, which has since been removed, was confirmed by a law enforcement source.

Dandrae Martin also has a criminal background in Riverside County and the Phoenix area, records show.

He appeared in a cage in a jailhouse courtroom and spoke only once to confirm his name to Superior Court Commissioner Ken Brody.

“Yeah,” Martin said, when asked if that was his name.

The Public Defender’s Office declared an overload, and the case was assigned for now to lawyer Linda Parisi, who said there would be a decision later on which defense attorney would represent Martin and other defendants.

After court, Parisi described her client as “very somber, very somber.”

“You saw in court, this is very serious,” she said.

Dandrae Martin will appear in court again April 26.

Smiley Martin, 27, posted a 15-minute Facebook Live video hours before the shooting in which he appeared to be brandishing a semiautomatic handgun toward the camera at times. The authenticity of the video, which has since been removed, was confirmed by a law enforcement source.

Click here to read the full article at the Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Police Seek Multiple Gunmen In mass Shooting That Killed 6, Wounded 12

Sacramento police are searching for multiple suspects in a mass shooting in the city’s downtown early Sunday that killed six people and wounded 12 others.

Police Chief Katherine Lester said the shooting occurred around 2 a.m. after a large fight broke out in a popular entertainment district. She said officers heard gunfire and arrived at the scene at 10th and K streets, roughly two blocks northwest of the state Capitol, where they found multiple shooting victims.

Authorities offered few details as to what happened except to say that just after 2 a.m. an unidentified person in a car drove up 10th Street and unleashed a sustained barrage of bullets into a crowd of people before fleeing.

A second person also fired a gun, although it was not yet clear whether that person was also in the car or in the crowd. Authorities said cameras in the downtown area captured footage of a portion of the shooting.

“This is a really complex and complicated scene,” Lester said. “And there is a process and what we want to do is make sure that this investigation is completed thoroughly and accurately. because we do want to see the perpetrators of this crime brought to justice.”

Police confirmed a stolen handgun was recovered from the scene. However, authorities suspect at least two different weapons were fired, according to a law enforcement source.

Click here to read the full article at the LA Times

Resist the Urge to Politicize Tragedy


This editorial was originally published by the Orange County Register:

Evil reared itself Wednesday morning at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. That’s when heavily armed husband and wife Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik made their way into Mr. Farook’s office holiday party and unleashed terror.

By the time the shooters fled, 14 were dead and another 17 wounded. It was the most carnage inflicted in the United States since six teachers and 20 children were shot and killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

The mass murder in San Bernardino was predictably sensational, as evidenced by the fact that #SanBernadino was shared on Twitter more than 333,000 times Wednesday – notwithstanding that the city’s name was misspelled.

No less predictable were the remarks of several political figures – both anti-gun advocates and foes of settling Syrian refugees in the U.S. – who apparently couldn’t resist the temptation to exploit Wednesday’s tragedy.

That included President Obama, who ranted to CBS News about the need “for commonsense gun safety laws,” while also urging Congress to enact legislation preventing individuals appearing on the government’s “No Fly List” from purchasing firearms.

But even if Mr. Obama got his wishes, it would not have prevented Wednesday’s carnage. That’s because California already has the nation’s strictest gun laws, based on the latest report card issued by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

As to enacting a law to prohibit those banned from commercial flights from legally obtaining guns, that would not have stopped Mr. Farook and his wife from obtaining their assault rifles and handguns.

That’s because neither of them was on the feds’ No Fly List, otherwise Mr. Farook, a Pakistani-American born in this country, could not have recently flown to Saudi Arabia and returned to the Inland Empire with his wife, Ms. Malik.

The myth promulgated by Mr. Obama and other gun control advocates that stricter gun laws will prevent the kind of mass murder that occurred in San Bernardino ignores an inconvenient truth …

Continue reading this editorial at OCregister.com/opinion

San Bernardino killer couple’s links to international terror

As reported by the Daily Mail:

San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook met his Pakistani wife-turned-accomplice Tashfeen Malik while on the hajj in Saudi Arabia and appeared to be radicalized, law enforcement officials revealed this afternoon.

Investigators told CNN that Farook, a native U.S. citizen of South Asian descent, was in touch by phone and via social media with more than one international terrorism subject.

On Wednesday morning, Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, dropped off their six-month-old baby with Farook’s mother, saying they were going to a doctor’s appointment.

By noon, according to police, the couple had donned assault clothing, armed themselves with …

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San Bernardino shooting rampage sows fear, anger and sorrow among residents


As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

The whine of police sirens is familiar on the streets of San Bernardino.

But even here — in a place battered by drug addiction and decades of economic decline, culminating in the city’s bankruptcy three years ago — the kind of crime that sent an army of law enforcement officers into the streets Wednesday still has the power to spread fear and grief.

The shooting rampage that left 14 dead and at least 17 wounded at a social-services center would be a tragedy for any city. But it has special overtones in San Bernardino, which is among the nation’s poorest big cities and has arguably become California’s starkest example of urban blight.

In the hours after the shooting, as schools and government buildings were locked down and …

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