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Man who fatally shot California officer a suspect in another shooting ⋆ Epeak . Independent news and blogs

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Feb. 20 (UPI) — A man who allegedly killed one officer and injured another during a shootout in Whittier, Calif., on Monday may also be a suspect in another killing hours earlier, police say.

Officer Keith Boyer was shot and killed Monday during a shootout with a “known gang member” who’d recently been paroled, and allegedly shot and killed another man earlier in the day, say police who did not name the man or say why he had been in prison. Officer Patrick Hazel was also shot in the gunfight, as was the gunman.

Boyer, a 25-year veteran of Whittier’s police department, was given a procession as he was driven from UC Irvine Medical Center to the Orange County Coroner’s Office.

“It seems like a simple traffic accident and next thing they know they’re in a gunfight,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. John Corina said during a press conference on Monday. “You never know, when you respond to a call, what you are going to run into.”

The gunman, who has been on parole for about a week, rear-ended a car and then asked the people in the other car to help him push his car out of the road and around a corner, police said in a press release. When police got there, they spoke first with the occupants of the car that was rear-ended before approaching the gunman’s car.

As the officers approached the car, before they could ask the gunman to get out, he got out of the car and opened fire. In the close-range gunfight that ensued, all three were shot and Boyer killed.

Police later discovered the gunman had been driving a stolen car, and suspect he was involved in another shooting in the East Los Angeles neighborhood the car came from.

“It’s extremely tragic,” Corina said. “You’ve got a couple officers who just responded to a traffic accident, and they think they’re there to help out people involved in a traffic accident. Next thing they know, they got this guy shooting at them. He shoots both of them and kills one of them.”

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