LAPD officer suspected in Pomona killing fled with father's help, FBI says

LAPD officer suspected of killing man in Pomona fled the state with help from his father, authorities say

Soon after he chased down and shot a man near a Pomona nightclub, authorities say, off-duty Los Angeles Police Department Officer Henry Solis ditched his Volkswagen Jetta a few blocks away and called his dad for help.

Victor Solis told authorities he left his Lancaster home hurriedly after a series of phone calls and then drove his son to El Paso, Texas, along the Mexican border, according to an FBI warrant filed Thursday.

The father said he dropped his son off at a bus station and no longer knows his whereabouts, according to the warrant.

Before he vanished, the warrant said, Henry Solis made "incriminating statements" about his role in the March 13 shooting and vowed he would "never be seen again."

Now the former rookie cop is being hunted by a federal fugitive task force in connection with the death of Salome Rodriguez in downtown Pomona. Solis has been charged with murder.

Authorities said they want him arrested and extradited back to California.

The shooting occurred early on a Friday morning near a restaurant in downtown Pomona. Both Solis and Rodriguez had been spotted at nightclubs in the area.

Rodriguez ran bleeding for about a block before collapsing in a parking lot under a dogwood tree, a law enforcement source said.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the incident was fueled by alcohol and that Solis had shamed the department.

At the time of the shooting, the clubs had just let out, and the streets were bustling with revelers. That's when Solis — a 27-year-old probationary officer with the LAPD — is believed to have come to blows with Rodriguez, a 23-year-old Ontario resident.

Solis pursued Rodriguez down the block, police said, and shot him repeatedly. An autopsy, completed Wednesday, showed Rodriguez died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The next day, Solis failed to turn up for work at the Devonshire Division, and quickly became a suspect in the killing.

The same day, according to the federal warrant, the elder Solis was spotted at the home of relatives in El Paso, traveling in his pickup truck with his dog.

Cmdr. Andrew Smith said LAPD officials want Henry Solis to "turn himself in as quickly as possible."

A district attorney's spokeswoman said the office would not comment on the charges.

Solis was a U.S. Marine before he joined the LAPD in June. Chief Beck said there was "no obvious indication that he would have the propensity for this" and noted that Pomona police "have a strong case" against Solis.

Solis' probationary status enabled the LAPD to quickly fire him this week.

"Henry Solis failed to meet the minimum standards of the Los Angeles Police Department and has been terminated effectively immediately," Beck said.

The fact that Solis has not shown up for work and isn't cooperating with Pomona detectives "is sufficient to terminate him," Beck said.

"If Henry Solis is watching this, you have dishonored this Police Department, your country and your service to the country, and your family," Beck said, staring into television news cameras during a media briefing. "And you should turn yourself in and face the consequences for your actions."

richard.winton@latimes.com

Times staff writers Kate Mather and Christopher Goffard contributed to this report.

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